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JEWISH FOREIGN CITIZENS KILLED AT THE NINTH FORT

A new exposition opened

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On April 7, a new exposition “Jewish Foreign Citizens killed at the Ninth Fort” was opened at Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum. Kaunas Ninth Fort was transformed into one of the largest mass massacre places in Lithuania occupied by Nazi Germany during WWII. In 1941-1944, people of Jewish origin were killed, who had been brought here from Lithuania and other European states: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Soviet Union, France, and Germany. On November 25, 1941, almost three thousand Jews transferred from Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt am Mein were shot to death in the Ninth Fort. The last known mass destruction of foreign citizens in the Ninth Fort was carried out in May, 1944. 878 Jews were deported from Drancy concentration camp in France to Eastern Europe, and most of them were forced to get off in Kaunas railway station, brought to the Ninth Fort and shot to death.

Representatives of the LR Office of the Government, the LR Ministry of Culture, and Kaunas city municipality as well as project partners and colleagues from other museums participated in the exposition opening. Visitors could visit the new exposition and other expositions related to the Holocaust free of charge from 6 pm to 9 pm.

The exposition is complemented by virtual content which can be explored using smart devices (smart phones or iPads). With the help of the devices, visitors can get introduced to the history of one family from Germany. In collaboration with Kaunas County Sign Language Interpreters’ Centre, the exposition was adapted to visitors with hearing disability.

Henry Kellen, who emigrated to the USA in 1946, made a significant financial contribution to the establishment of the exposition.  In 2014, he allocated a part of his inheritance to Kaunas Ninth Fort museum by his testament, in the memory of his parents, brother, sister, and all Kaunas city Jewish community, who perished during the Holocaust. The project was partly financed by the Council of Lithuanian Culture. Other partners are the following: the Faculty of Informatics of Vytautas Magnus University, the theatre of Vytautas Magnus University, and the Gymnasium of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.