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Gargzdai (Gorzd), Lithuania

Identification of Post-War Photos of Gargzdai

taken by George Birman

posted at

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum




Photos at Album 2, 1944-1946, Item 8: (album page bears dates April 21, 1945 in lower left corner, and April 16. 1945 in lower right corner; pictures are not otherwise identified on album page)

Item 8(1)

Ruins of new masonry Beit Midrash

 

 
Item 8(2)

Unknown
Item 8(3)

Entrance road to NE killing site for women and children (road heading to left)

camera view looks SW towards Vezaiciai       
Item 8(4)

Bluff at west side of Jewish cemetery
Item 8(5)

view from east side of Minija River

Camera view looks west across river, towards large palace of former noble estate, at north end of estate lands
Item 8(6)

NE site of killing of women and children
Item 8(7)

Palace of former noble estate, at north end of estate lands
Item 8(8)

Gravestone in Jewish Cemetery

Item 8(1)
Ruins of new masonry Beit Midrash


beit midrash ruins full



birman ushmm beit midrash


Photo courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
1993.41.2
Album 2, Item 8
George Birman Papers


Factors supporting identification of subject of Birman photo:

    Site would be of prime interest to Birman.

    View faces east because river is seen in background.

    Aerial photos #157 and #158 show shadow of northern wall of the ruins of the new masonry Beit Midrash. The shadow shows profile of the wall, although the height is exaggerated due to low angle of late afternoon sun. On the aerials, the wall drops off sharply in height as the northeast corner is approached. Birman photo shows similar profile in wall at left.

shadow of north wall from aerial 158

Above: Ruins of new masonry Beit Midrash in Aerial #158 at wwii-photos-maps.com
Aerial photo oriented with southeast at top



beit midrash ruins on 158

Above: Ruins of Beit Midrash from Aerial # 158
enhanced with unsharp mask function of graphics program
Oriented with north at top


compress shadow

Above: North wall of Beit Midrash ruins, from Aerial #158, oriented with north at top
Vertical dimension of photo compressed to 25% of original, to let shadow more closely approximate profile of remnants of north wall
 
      Question: Are the twin columns, in background of George Birman's photo, remnants from the Catholic Church which was burned at the time of the invasion in June, 1941?


Item 8(2)
Unknown

    Can any reader identify this location?


Item 8(3)
Entrance road to NE killing site for women and children (road heading to left)
camera view looks SW towards Vezaiciai

birman photo turnoff to ne site

Photo courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
1993.41.2
Album 2, Item 8
George Birman Papers

  

    Factors supporting identification of subject of Birman photo:

        Documenting the turnoff point to the site of the killing would be of prime interest to Birman.

        Direction of the roads matches direction on historical maps and at present time

turnoffpointlithtopo
Turnoff point on Lithuanian topo (1938)
North at top


turnoffpointrotated

Map rotated to match direction of Birman photo
Red arrow: road to Vezaiciai
Orange Arrow: Road to NE site

turnoffpositiongoogleearth

Turnoff position on Google Earth
Road at top edge leads to Vezaiciai; road at left edge leads to NE Site


Item 8(6)
NE Site of Killing of Women and Children


   ne site

Photo courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
1993.41.2
Album 2, Item 8
George Birman Papers


Factors supporting identification of subject of Birman photo:

    NE site would have been easier to locate than SW site.

    Far right edge of Birman photo may show start of slope up to location of present day memorial sign. See present day photo here at Lithuanian Cultural Site.  SW site is on flat terrain.



Gargzdai main page

This page updated May 1, 2019

Copyright 2019 John S. Jaffer