Jewish Genocide Cemetery

Alytus, Lithuania

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.

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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.


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