Holocaust Memorial Day in Lithuania Date in the current year: September 23, 2016

Holocaust Memorial Day in Lithuania Holocaust Memorial Day is a very important observance in Lithuania. Establishment of this memorial day is connected with liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto in 1943.

The Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Lithuania began in 1939, on the dawn of World War II. The Nazis occupied Lithuania and created the Vilna Ghetto (or Vilnius Ghetto) in 1941. Thousands of Jews were brought there. During roughly two years of operating around 40,000 Jews were killed there. Only several hundred people managed to survive, mostly by hiding in the surrounding forests, joining the Soviet partisans or finding shelter among sympathetic locals.

The Vilna Ghetto was divided into the Large Ghetto and the Small Ghetto. The Small Ghetto was liquidated in October 1941. Liquidation of the Large Ghetto began on August 6, 1943. The residents were deported to Estonia, killed in the forest, surrounding Vilnius, or sent to death camp in Poland. The Ghetto was totally liquidated on September 23-24, 1943.

Holocaust Memorial Day was declared in 1994. Every year schoolchildren and regional communities are involved into commemoration activities, that are organized by governmental and non-governmental organizations.

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