During the Word War II, when Alytus was occupied by Germans, Jewish people were shot in Vidzgiris forest and buried in common graves. According to written sources, mostly people from the east of former Soviet Union and Czech Republic were killed here. This forest became the place of eternal rest for many Jewish people from Alytus region. On March 18, 1993, reconstructed memorial, designed for Jewish victims, was unveiled in Vidzgirio forest. Memorial ensemble is composed of the symbolic 'Star of David', 9 pyramids, indicating the burial-grounds, an obelisk and a stela. In the highest hill of the memorial stands a monument of pain a broken 'Star of David', symbolizing broken destinies and lives of humans. The author of the project is architect Rasa Vasiliauskienė, and the author of the broken star of David is sculptor Aloyzas Smilingis.References:
My husband and I recently traveled to Lithuania where my ancestors were from. Fortunately we knew this from several ships manifests that my Grandparents traveled on the states to. One relative had lived in Alytus before immigrating to the states. To my husband and I the Jewish Genocide Cemetery dramatically brought home the tragedy of the Holocust as we walked among the mass graves in a dark forest. One could almost feel the souls and spirit of those murdered. Those Jews of Lithuanian decent should visit this cemetery so as to NEVER FORGET ONES routes and this tragic event.
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.