4 Responses

  1. Nick Knight
    Nick Knight at |

    Vilnius, is a great city to visit. My fav of the Baltics. Their friendly, and is like Scandinavia at less then half the price.

  2. Bruce
    Bruce at |

    Seth.
    I have been to Vilnius several times and it is a thoroughly charming and modern city. However moving, the Genocide Museum tells a partial story.
    At the start of the 2nd World War Vilna (Vilnius) had a Jewish population of about 100,000 (45% of the population of the city) and was the center of Jewish learning with the great Vilna Gaon as leader. The holocaust started in Lithuania on 23 June 1941 with many of the non Jewish population complacent or participating in the deportations and killings. Ultimately 96% of Lithuania’s Jewish population was killed; the highest proportion in Europe. Many more would have died if not for Senpo Sugihara; sometimes called the “Japanese Schindler”. There is a small monument to him in Vilnius. Sadly the Genocide Museum sanitizes the truth about the holocaust in Vilnius. Next time you visit I suggest that you visit the Green House, hidden away on Pamėnkalnio 12. Here you will find the rest of the story.

    1. Mark
      Mark at |

      I generally agree with Bruce but talking about the Holocaust and the Jewish genocide doesn’t tell the complete story. Central Europe was a battlefield of two totalitarian systems fighting each other and creating many social cleavages. Vilnius was at the center of all those ethnic conflicts. Before the WW2, it was a Polish city with predominantly Polish population and substantial Jewish minority. After the war, Stalin moved the borders with dummies Roosevelt and Churchill passive. Poles and Jews were mostly gone, killed or expelled. Lithuanians fought Poles as a threat to their national identity and Jews whom they perceived as supporting communism. The resulting alliance with the Nazi lead to several pogroms and massacres, the biggest of them being the Ponary (a suburb of Vilnius) massacre, with est. 70K Jews, 20K Poles and 8K Russians killed jointly by Germans and Lithuanians . Lithuania, unlike Poland, is firmly nationalistic and reluctant to give the honest account of ethnic struggles within its borders, including Lithuanian WW2 cleansing activities.

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