Museum of Genocide Victims

Vilnius, Lithuania

The Museum of Genocide Victims, also known as KGB Museum, was established in 1992. In 1997 it was transferred to the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania. The museum is located in the former KGB headquarters across from the Lukiškės Square, therefore it is informally referred to as the KGB Museum. The museum is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting documents relating to the 50-year occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian resistance, and the victims of the arrests, deportations, and executions that took place during this period.

The museum building, completed in 1890, originally housed the court of the Vilna Governorate. The German Empire used it during its World War I occupation of the country. After independence was declared, it served as a conscription center for the newly formed Lithuanian army and as the Vilnius commander's headquarters. During theLithuanian Wars of Independence, the city was briefly taken by the Bolsheviks, and the building housed commissariats and a revolutionary tribunal. Following Żeligowski's Mutiny of 1920, Vilnius and its surroundings were incorporated into Poland, and the building housed the courts of justice for the Wilno Voivodship.

Lithuania was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1940, and following an ultimatum, became a Soviet Socialist Republic. Mass arrests and deportations followed, and the building's basement became a prison. In 1941 Nazi Germany invaded the country; the building then housed the Gestapo headquarters. Inscriptions on the cell walls from this era remain. The Soviets retook the country in 1944, and from then until independence was re-established in 1991, the building was used by the KGB, housing offices, a prison, and an interrogation center. Over 1,000 prisoners were executed in the basement between 1944 and the early 1960s, about one third for resisting the occupation. Most bodies were buried in the Tuskulėnai Manor, which underwent reconstruction and is selected to host the second Museum of Genocide Victims.

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Details

Founded: 1992
Category: Museums in Lithuania

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Johan Eng (3 years ago)
Very interesting! A lot to read and watch (or listen to if you get an audio guide) It's a must if you ever go to Vilnius! We spent hours there just soaking in the history
Chris Smith (3 years ago)
Very interesting museum, well put together. Lots of information and things to read and see, almost everything has an English-written version too so no problem if you don't understand Lithuanian. I didn't opt for the audio guide but it seems a good option if you want to. Well priced, easy to find, definitely worth a visit if you're in Vilnius.
Gosia M Kwiatkowska (3 years ago)
The Genocide Victims museum is probably the best I have seen for a long time. It is located close to the centre of town and it took me 3 hours to go through. It left a lasting expression on me. I think everyone should visit this museum.
Abi Carter (3 years ago)
Excellent museum. Excellent translations into English, really varied exhibitions and so thought provoking. Having been to many such museums in Eastern Europe, this has to rank as one of the best
Cedric QianYi Sun (3 years ago)
Very heavy history , not just for the locals but a forever warning light for human being in general. Peace is never cheap. KGB prison in the basement gives your the chill, especially the “execution chamber” that still has the actually bullet holes preserved on the wall. Make sure your are psychologically and emotionally ready before you go cos it’s not gonna be easy. But if you think you can handle it, this is a must go place . Note: cash only for the tickets.
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