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
Bajorai Killing Site
(photo courtesy of Philip Shapiro)
member Phil Shapiro tells us:
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.
visit the site, take the road leading to the northeast of
Rokiškis about 1 kilometer past the village of Bajorai
(bah-YOR-ray). 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
courtesy of Robin Esrock)
can view a video of this memorial at the Yad Vashem website on
of Jewish Victims..
Be sure to look on the right side of the page.
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.
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
More Killing Sites Remembered
|The following is
an English translation of the Rokiskis Regional Museum's full
June 21, 2017, press release.
įstaiga, Tyzenhauzų al. 5,
458) 52 261,
458) 31 512, faks/tel. (8 458) 52 835, el. p.: firstname.lastname@example.org.
kaupiami ir saugomi Juridinių asmenų registre,
June 21, Phil and Aldona Shapiro, who are friends and sponsors
of the Rokiškis
Regional Museum, visited from the USA.
Phil and his brother David
founded a non-profit organization called Remembering Litvaks,
Inc., which is dedicated to preserving and fostering the Litvak
cultural heritage of Lithuania.
the June 21 meeting, the visitors discussed several new
projects, including those in which the Museum might be a
They also received the results
of new historical research that the Museum recently conducted.
May 8, 2017, Marijona Mieliauskiene, the Museum’s Deputy
Director of the Rokiškis Regional Museum, and Giedrius Kujelis,
the Director of the Museum’s History Department, visited Jonas
Rudokas in Skrebiskis village (who was born in 1934 in the
village of Skrebiškis
in the Kamajai
eldership). The purpose of the visit was to determine the place
of killing and burial of a group of Svėdasai Jews.
Mr. Rudokas remembered that in 1941 July or August (he could not
recall the precise date) more prosperous Jewish families from Svėdasai
were shot on the outskirts of Trakas-Pempiškis forest, near the
road leading from Kamajai northward to Rokiškis.
Museum’s staff, together with Mr. Rudokas and his wife, Aldona
Rudokienė, went to the site of the Jewish shooting and
burial, which is approximately one kilometer from their home. Mr.
Rudokas pointed to the site at the edge of the Trako-Pempiškis
forest close to the Kamajai-Rokiškis road.
Rudokas explained that the Jewish families from Svėdasai
were being transported in the direction of Rokiškis with their
possessions in horse-drawn carts. Their
captors then decided to benefit themselves by killing their
the massacre began, several of the victims tried to escape, but
were attacked and shot.
Rudokas heard from other neighbors that 28 people were shot dead
during the incident. Among
the massacre perpetrators were men from the Bekintis family who
lived in Svėdasai.
Museum Deputy Director M. Mieliauskienė
(who was born in 1952 in Pašilės village in the Kamajai
eldership) remembers that her parents and grandmother talked
about these killings. Her
grandmother, Anelė Jasiūnienė (1883-1965) had
shown her the place where the murdered Svėdasai Jews were
and Aldona Rudokas and Marijona Mieliauskienė explained
that in the 1960s diggings occurred at the massacre site but
they did not know who did the digging or the reason it was done.
Mieliauskienė had also heard about this from his mother,
Liudvika Jasiūnienė (1920-1987).
Museum coordinators have recorded the specific location,
documented the testimony of the witnesses, and drafted an
official document regarding the massacre site. The
Museum will present this information to the Genocide and
Resistance Research Center of Lithuania for further actions. In
the opinion of the Museum coordinators, the next steps should be
to search for documents in archives, particularly any concerning
a possible transfer of the victims’ remains, archaeological
research, protecting the site, building a memorial sign, and
installing a road sign.
are several mass murder sites in the Rokiškis area, where
between June and August 1941 the Nazis killed Jews who were
residents of the region.
Four of these places have been
At Velniaduobė, near the
village of Bajorai, 3207 people were killed.
They were residents of the town
of Rokiskis and residents from other Jewish towns in the area. More
than 1160 victims are buried near Antanašė village, south
of Obeliai. There
are 70 people buried in a mass grave in the village of Vyžuonai
and 981 people were killed in the Steponiai woods.
there are other massacre places, like the one near the
Trakas-Pempiškis forest, that are not marked and have been
forgotten by many people. One
such location is on the border of the Šeduikiškis and Kavoliškis
villages, just west of Rokiškis on the right side of a small
field road. It
was there that the Jofe and Olkin families from Panemunėlis
were murdered and buried.
Among those shot dead there was
the young poet, Matilda Olkinaitė.
tragedy of Matilda Olkinaitė has been immortalized by the
play of the Theatre of Rokiškis company entitled, “Mute
Muses,” which was directed by Neringa Danienė. The
theater company did not limit themselves to the performance to
preserve the memory of the Olkin family. The
theatre company, together with the volunteers from the
Lithuanian Army’s 506th National Guard unit, which
is based in Rokiskis, undertook an expedition to identify the
location of the massacre and burial site. There is a plan to
mark the boundary of the site and build a commemorative plaque.
The association also plans to publish a book of M. Olkinaitė’s
to see a limited necrology of Holocaust victims from
Rokiskis Surviviors who went to Tashkent
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
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
at mass grave
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.
Boris Feldblyum Collection
inscription in Russian, Lithuanian and Yiddish reads: Here
rest those killed by Lithuanian-German nationalists on 15-16
of August, 1941.
courtesy of Isobel Fleishman)
detailed report by SS-Standartenfuehrer Jaeger regarding mass
killings in Nazi occupied USSR, July - November, 1941.
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
1941, Rokiskis 3,200 Jews, Jewesses, and J. Children, 5 Lith.
Comm., 1 Pole, 1 partisan 3207
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)
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
the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, Mass Murder
Sites and Dates
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