Viduklė (Vidukle) | Kaunas

A Jewish synagogue in Viduklė © A disapppearing heritage: the synagogue architecture of Lithuania / Marija Rupeikienė. - [Vilnius]: E. Karpavičiaus leidykla, 2003. - 190 p. / © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Yahad-In Unum’s team is looking for witnesses © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum A factory near the killing site © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Witness shows the place of the mass grave © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Jonas J., born in 1931 © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Brone J., born in 1928 © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum The monument for the Jewish victims (situated between two factories) © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Viduklė

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Field
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944

Witness interview

Juozas D. answers questions:
"Y.U.: Did the Jews take any belongings with them?
Juozas D.: No, they didn’t take anything. They were stripped. If women had some jewelry it was all taken from them. They left everything as it was. I don’t know what happened to the confiscated jewelry. Everything was taken from the Jews and their houses.
Y.U.: Did they come to search for jewelry on the day of the arrest or a few days later?
Juozas D.: Everything happened on the same day.
Y.U.: Who came to search in the houses: Germans or locals?
Witness: Mostly Germans. They knew the streets and the numbers of the houses to be searched. The Jews were brought by German trucks with covered trailers to avoid the looks but weeping and screams could be heard." (Eyewitness N°17, interviewed in Viduklė, on November 27, 2013).

Soviet archives

Starting from July 1941, a camp for the Jews was created at the Viduklė railway station. Since that moment, all the Jews were detained there for a week. They were guarded. As it was built, an excavation pit was dug. At one moment, they started to widen the pit. Nobody knew why the Gestapo soldiers did that. In July 1941, I don’t remember the exact day; a truck with 20 Gestapo soldiers arrived. As they came Jews were out of the camp at work. Once gathered in the camp, according to the order, all the Jews were brought to the pit about 500m away from the camp. Once there, the Jews were told to lie down, face to the ground. Then, in groups of 10 they were forced to get down in the pit and were shot. Shortly after, another group, who had to lie down on the bodies from the previous group, was shot. In that way, in one day 200 Jews were killed. [Deposition of Stasis T., born in 1909, who during the war worked at the railway station; RG-22.002M.7021-94/427]

Historical note

Viduklė is located 64 kilometers (40 miles) south- southwest of Šiauliai. 221 Jews lived in the town on the date of 1923 when a population census was conducted. On June 23, 1941, Viduklė was occupied by German army.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

During the first days of occupation about 15 Jews, men and women, were arrested. Shortly after that, women were released and the men’s fate remains unknown. About 200 Jewish men over 14 years old were arrested in the middle of July and were locked in  the railway station. Shortly after that, they were shot by Lithuanian activists. As the male Jewish population was killed, the women and the children were gathered in a ghetto, situated in 5 buildings. During the action, carried out in August by Lithuanians, the remaining 100 women and children were shot at the Jewish cemetery. They were shot in small groups of 10-20. According to some sources, the Jews from Nemakščiai were also kept in Viduklė and killed there.

Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania

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