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Until the Soviet occupation in 1940, the relations between the Lithuanian and Jewish inhabitants were of good neighborship. They were meeting not only in the market and street but also at cultural events and concerts. The young Lithuanian intelligentsia used to associate with the Jewish youngsters who studied in Kovno and were coming home for summer vacation.

During the Soviet occupation the good neighborly relations changed and the Lithuanians began to show hatred towards the Jewish population of Rumshishok. The hate was especially noticeable when the Lithuanian police inspector was deposed and replaced by a new inspector – a Jew from Kovno, Weiss, who married a local girl. The policemen, inhabitants of Rumshishok, who remained in their positions, did not want to reconcile themselves with the fact that a Jew replaced the Lithuanian inspector and was behaving like a “landlord” giving them orders. The Lithuanians considered the Russians as occupiers and the fact that the Jews became suddenly citizens with equal rights and involved in the social, economic and political life, contributed not a little to strengthen the hatred towards them. This hatred found its outlet when the Nazis occupied Rumshishok.


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