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During WWII and in the post-war period, large-scale deportations took place in Lithuania. It is estimated that more than 130,000 people were deported from Lithuania between 1940 and 1953. In the face of the threat of extinction, it was important to preserve identity and strengthen the spirit. Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum collects silent witnesses of the exile: unique small handicrafts made by deportees (vizitėlės, which are pieces of embroidery with a short text, memory books – decorative hearts with inscriptions, brooches, etc.). These handicrafts are a material embodiment of memory, resistance and identity. They were brought to Lithuania by the deportees from the harshest parts of the Soviet Union. The textiles contain individual stories and accumulated knowledge, as well as become a message or a sign to be sent and received.

Authentic handicrafts of the deportees and their creators’ stories are the foundation of the exhibition at the museum. In the exhibition, the historical perspective will merge with the artistic one as the museum treasures will become a reflection for seven artists:  Džiugas Karalius and Giedrius Bučas, Marius Jonutis, Eglė and Rokas Kašėtos, Lina Jonikė and Greta Kardi-Kardišiūtė. Inspired by the handicrafts made in exile, they will create original works that will be exhibited as a part of the exhibition at Kaunas Ninth Fort Memorial Complex. The outdoor stands with the photographs of authentic artefacts will become the core of the exhibition.

The exhibition will be on display in the territory of Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum. The visit is free of charge.

The organiser of the exhibition – Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum
The exhibition is financed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture

Project manager and designer – Renata Vinckevičiūtė-Kazlauskienė (Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum)
Curator of the project – Eglė Pietarytė (Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum)
Historical content consultant – Auksuolė Čepaitienė (Lithuanian History Institute)
Photographer – Matas Laužadis
Authors of the artistic installations: Džiugas Karalius and Giedrius Bučas, Marius Jonutis, Eglė and Rokas Kašėtos, Lina Jonikė and Greta Kardi-Kardišiūtė
Main information partner – LRT
Information partners: “Kauno diena”, JSC “Baltijos vaizdinė reklama”
Partner – Lithuanian History Institute
Production – JSC “Cyanus”
For the means for the artistic installations we would like to thank: JSC “Dero”, business center “Drobės fabrikas”, JSC “Omrina”,
We thank to JSC „Patatos bistro“


After Nazi Germany occupied Lithuania during WWII, in July, 1941, the construction of a ghetto began in Kaunas. This way, the foundations were laid for the systematic massacre of Lithuanian Jews in Kaunas Region, mainly in the Ninth Fort in Kaunas. During WWII, the Ninth Fort was turned into one of the largest sites of mass murder in Nazi-occupied Lithuania. In 1941–1944, Jews were brought here from Lithuania and other European countries (Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, the Soviet Union and Germany) and killed.

In order to remind everyone the tragic events of the Holocaust, foster historical memory and help society to form emotional connections with important events of the past, Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum with “Kaunas – the European Capital of Culture 2022” implements the international interdisciplinary project “ECCE HOMO: Those who Stayed.”

The project, which conveys history in different art forms (visual arts and dance), symbolically connects the two European Capitals of Culture of 2022, Kaunas and Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), with common historical memory – traumatic historical experiences – and brings them to life in contemporary context.

During the implementation of the project, on September 23-24, 2022, artist Bruce Clarke will present a two-part art installation “ECCE HOMO: Those who Stayed” created specifically for the spaces of Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum and intended to highlight the losses of society experienced during the Nazi occupation.

In another European Capital of Culture, 2022, Esch-sur-Alzette, at the National Museum of Resistance and Human Rights (Musée National de la Résistance et des Droits Humains), Bruce Clarke will create a two-part art installation “ECCE HOMO: Those who Left,” which reflects the motifs of the work on display at the Ninth Fort Museum in Kaunas. More about the National Museum of Resistance and Human Rights:

The author of the installations, Bruce Clarke, is an artist of Litvak origin whose roots are in Kaunas: his grandparents emigrated from Lithuania to the South African Republic in the 1920s. The artist was born in the UK and currently lives in France. More about Bruce Clarke and his works:

On September 23-24, 2022, during the presentation of the installation at Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum, it will become a part of the modern choreography performance “The Wreckage of My Flesh.” The original choreography for the show, based on the butoh genre, was created by Tebby W. T. Ramasike, a dancer and choreographer from the South African Republic. Butoh is a modern dance genre formed in the 1950s in Japan. It is characterized by bright tragic emotions, slow movements and the desire to approach the primary energy. Prepared together with an international team (composers and dancers) and complemented by electronic music, the sensitive performance will convey a person’s experiences in a whirlwind of dramatic events and resistance to the terror of a brutal regime. More about dancer and choreographer Tebby W. T. Ramasike:

The team of the performance: composers René Baptist Huysmans and Jacob Elkin, Butoh performer Elizabeth Damour, light designer Ellen Knops, costume designer Anne Oomen, videographer Zo Fan.

The project is implemented by Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum and “Kaunas 2022”
Information partners: LRT, “Kauno diena”, KB “Katos grupė” | ACM
Partners: National Museum of Resistance and Human Rights (Luxembourg), “Esch 2022”

International scientific conference “Local Analysis of Holocaust Development in the Eastern and Western European States Occupied by the Nazis” (2016)

The aim of the project was to organise an international scientific conference dedicated to the local analysis of Holocaust development in the Eastern and Western European states occupied by the Nazis. Support by Culture Support Fund: 5000.00 Eur.

Interactive permanent exposition dedicated to the commemoration of foreign citizens killed at the Ninth Fort (2016)

The aim of the project was to expand the range of services of Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum and their accessibility to various target groups of Lithuanian and foreign tourist groups and to encourage society‘s interest in the Holocaust history. Support by Culture Support Fund: 7500.00 Eur.


The aim of the project was to renew the exposition “Kaunas Fortress 1882-1915” with the collaboration of representatives of creative industries and application of innovative creative ideas. The exposition represents the historical material collected at the museum using contemporary elements and forming conditions for the development of the social role of the museum: creation of new education programmes, non-formal youth education, and emotional impact of the visual space of the museum. Support by the Culture Support Fund: 15,929.10 Eur.


The aim of the project was to install and integrate virtual education games, which develop thinking and attention, and interactively introduce children and youth to the history and museum expositions of the Ninth Fort of Kaunas Fortress. During the project, the necessary equipment was purchased and programming and graphic design tasks were fulfilled. Support by Culture Support Fund: 7,240.50 Eur.


The aim of the project was to adapt Kaunas Ninth Fort museum to tourism, creating an interactive exposition based on contemporary technologies, which represents military history to society. During the project financed by the EU, regulative construction of the semi-caponier of the Ninth Fort was designed and carried out, and a new museum exposition about Kaunas Fortress was created. Support by the European Regional Development Fund: 710.5 thousand Euros.