Holocaust in Rokiskis

The 23rd of Av [15 August 1941] and the 2nd of Elul [25 August 1941] commemorate the mass slaughter of the Jewish people in Rokiskis.  Be sure to read the account on the Yad Vashem website.

        Bajorai Killing Site
(photo courtesy of Philip Shapiro)

SIG member Phil Shapiro tells us:


As of July 2008, there were still no signs on the paved roads giving direction to the site, but the site itself is marked.  Also, the local history museum at the Tyzenhaus has begun marking the site on local history maps.


To visit the site, take the road leading to the northeast of Rokiškis about 1 kilometer past the village of Bajorai (bah-YOR-ray).  (For a detailed map of area, click here, and magnify area to the immediate northeast of Rokiškis.) At the point where a sign indicates that a right-hand fork goes to Lukštai and Savartynas, there is a dirt road immediately on the right which leads into the woods.  Take the dirt road approximately 300 meters.  The massacre site is on the right.

  Bajorai Killing Site


(photo courtesy of Robin Esrock)

You can view a video of this memorial at the Yad Vashem website on the Commemoration of Jewish Victims. Be sure to look on the right side of the page.  



Plaque at the Bajorai Killing Site

The Jews from the Rokiskis district were murdered at Bajorai, also known as Velniaduobe.  The inscription is written in two languages, Lithuanian and Yiddish, and has been translated for us by Regina Kopilevich.

The plaque reads "In this place Hitlerists and their local helpers on August 15 and 16, 1941 cruelly killed 3207 Jews - children, women, men.  Let the memory of them be blessed."





Click here to see a limited necrology of Holocaust victims from Rokiskis                                        



        Rokiskis Surviviors who went to Tashkent    

A United States Holocaust Memorial Museum collection of  152,000 digitized registration cards of Jewish evacuees and refugees available at the Central State Archives of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Tashkent reveals three from Rokiskis.  You can use the JewishGen Holocaust Database to locate these valuable records.

Click on
each of the names below to see the actual records and their translations.  Thank you to Michael Gorfunkel for the translations from Russian.

Rano Anne Krukos
Haya Krukos
Natalis Krukos



Monument at mass grave

Monument, located at the site of the mass graves (in the Iodupe forest near Rokiskis) of the several thousand Jews who were murdered by the Nazis and Lithuanian police on  August 15 and 16, 1941.   The inscription in Russian, Lithuanian and Yiddish reads: Here rest those killed by Lithuanian-German nationalists on 15-16 of August, 1941.

Courtesy Boris Feldblyum Collectio    

Close-up View

The inscription in Russian, Lithuanian and Yiddish reads: Here rest those killed by Lithuanian-German nationalists on 15-16 of August, 1941.





(photograph courtesy of Isobel Fleishman)

Jaeger Report

From The Jaeger Report, a detailed report by SS-Standartenfuehrer Jaeger regarding mass killings in Nazi occupied USSR, July - November, 1941.

The Commander of the security police and the SD Einsatzkommando 3, Kauen (Kaunas), 1 December 1941.

Complete list of executions carried out in the EK 3 area up to 1 December 1941.  Security police duties in Lithuania taken over by Einsatzkommando 3 on 2 July 1941.  On my instructions and orders the following executions were conducted by Lithuanian partisans:

June 27 - August 14, 1941, Rokiskis 493 Jews, 432 Russians, 56 Lithuanians (all active communists) 981
August 15-16, 1941, Rokiskis 3,200 Jews, Jewesses, and J. Children, 5 Lith. Comm., 1 Pole, 1 partisan 3207
From Key Aspects of German Anti-Jewish Policy by Jürgen Mätthaus (US Holocaust Memorial Museum Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Lithuania and the Jews: Holocaust Chapter, Symposium Presentations, 2004)

Once the officers of Einsatzgruppe A were acclimated to mass murder and the necessary functional elements were in place, the killing of Jewish civilians required primarily the most effective technique. Jäger described mass executions as “an organizational question” to be solved by adopting the proper preparation for each “action.”  Mass graves had to be dug, the Jews had to be rounded up, and transportation had to be arranged. In Rokiškis, about 180 kilometers northeast of Kaunas, it took Hamann and his men a full day to bring more than 3,200 persons to a pit located 4.5 kilometers away from the collecting point. Those who tried to escape were killed on the spot; the others were lined up and shot point-blank in the back of the head so that they would fall into the pit, while the next victims arranged the corpses to fit as many as possible into the mass grave....

From the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, Mass Murder Sites and Dates

July,1941 Steponiai forest Rokiskis
July,1941 Vižūnai forest Rokiskis
August 15-16,1941 Valniadova grove Rokiskis
August 25,1941 Antanuša forest Rokiskis

Back to Main Page