Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lithuania: "Hitler wanted to destroy Jews physically, Stalin came, and he wanted to destroy the whole memory of the Jewish people"

Via The Daily Mail (h/t The Israel Project):
Giedrius Sakalauskas always thought there was something strange about the graffiti-sprayed, bunker-like structure in a leafy area outside the center of Vilnius.

Why build an electrical substation with granite blocks instead of regular bricks?

When he examined the building more carefully this month, he made a chilling discovery: Dozens of stones had inscriptions in Hebrew or Yiddish. "I touched the stones and I realized that they're really gravestones," Sakalauskas told The Associated Press.


And he had strong hunch about where they came from: Across the street there used to be a Jewish cemetery that was demolished in the 1960s when Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union. Sakalauskas posted pictures of his discovery on social media, setting off an emotional discussion about a dark chapter in Lithuania's history that didn't end when a Nazi occupation was replaced by a Soviet one in 1944.

Lithuania's once-vibrant Jewish community was nearly annihilated by the Nazis and the few who survived found little sympathy from their new communist rulers.

"Hitler wanted to destroy Jews physically," said Simonas Gurevicius, whose family escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to Russia and returned to Lithuania after the war. "Stalin came, and he wanted to destroy the whole memory of the Jewish people, making sure that nothing will stay."

The etchings on the substation are hard to spot unless you know what you are looking for. They're only visible in the gaps where the slabs overlay each other.  more

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