Met with the head archivist Vitalija at the Kaunas archives. We learned about how they kept the records for the region vs the central archives on Vilnius. One thing that was really important was that each family in the town had a number that stayed with the family. If people were added or subtracted it went in a revision list that connected back to that number. This helps genealogists with identifying families prior to surnames. People were not free to move around. They had to have permission and register with authorities when they went to another town. They had internal passports. I ordered records and went through them with the archivist. She also showed me the same plot plan I showed in my previous blog but this one was the original an it was hand painted in color! It was roughly 3×4. So now can understand why we are 52.
Daily Archives: June 27, 2012
We traveled to 9th fort. It was absolutely freezing. It was probably 50 degrees with 20 mile per hr winds. It kinda reminded me of the last tine we toured Alcatraz. I could only imagine how dreadful winters would be there. We toured the fort and learned about the 64 who escaped the fortress. Only 16 made it to freedom. They were the Jewish prisoners who had the horrific job of burning the shot bodies from the Kaunas ghetto. We were told that they were marched there from Kaunas and held in cells and shot in groups of 300. We weren’t supposed to take pics but I snuck a few in. Our guide Chaim’s mother was a survivor of the Kaunas ghetto.
There is a picture of Rosenberg’s from Jurbarkas in the Kaunas Ghetto. note to Barbara Eisenberg to check this out. This may be a family picture.
Wiki: The Ninth Fort (Lithuanian: Devintas Fortas) is a stronghold in the northern part of Šilainiai elderate, Kaunas, Lithuania. It is a part of the Kaunas Fortress, which was constructed in the late 19th century. During the occupation of Kaunas and the rest of Lithuania by the Soviet Union, the fort was used as a prison and way-station for prisoners being transported to labour camps. After the occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany, the fort was used as a place of execution for 30,000 Jews, captured Soviets, and others.
In the pictures you can see the light at the end of the tunnel like the 64.
The garish soviet monument says something like “dedication to the soviet citizens killed by the Nazis”. Amazing how they couldn’t say Jews.