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  • 1. By: Shani Litwin
    Kovno Ghetto
  • 2. Kovno is located in central Lithuania
  • 3. Pre World War II:
    Jewish Population of 35,00o to 40,000
    Major center of Jewish learning
    Lithuanians developed strong anti-Semitic sentiment during Soviet control of Lithuania (1940)
    Frequent pogroms
    Public killings
    When Germans were in power in Lithuania, anti-Semitism intensified
    Many Jews fled during Soviet control and beginning of German invasion
    Kovno; before ghetto establishment
  • 4. July 10, 1941---remaining Jews ordered to move to Vilijampole (Slobodka)
    The confined Jews were ordered to relocate to Kovno
    Population of ghetto:
    Began with 25,000 Jews. By August, 1941 grew to 29,000
    To reduce the populations there were series of mass murders.
    -- The “Great Action” occurred on October 28-29, 1941. 9,2000 Jews (4,200 children) marched to Fort IX where they were shot.
    Formation of Kovno Ghetto
  • 5. Ältestenrat (Jewish Council) attempted to relieve the dire conditions
    Active until the ghetto’s conversion to a concentration camp in 1943
    Supervised several other offices (seen on next slide) to keep the ghetto in order
    Main focus was to create secret archives to document and record the German crimes
    Made yearbooks and collected office reports and records, diaries and artifacts
    Most of the archives were destroyed after liberation
    Organization within the ghetto
  • 6. Ältestenrat organization chart
  • 7. Artists:
    Inmate artists were commissioned by Ältestenrat to create maps, signs, identification and ration cards. In addition, to document key events and street scenes
    Formed an orchestra and performed within the ghetto
    Employed by Jewish Ghetto Police
    Schools were ordered to be closed in 1942. Children were taught “underground” to continue their edication
    Febuary, 1942 all religious and secular books were confiscated
    Despite restriction, religious Jews prayed in makeshift synogogues and hid ceremonial objects and sacred texts and scrolls
    Life in Ghetto
  • 8. Photo of the ghetto's orchestra
  • 9. Drawing by Esther Luria (main artist recorder) of street scene
  • 10. As conditions worsened between 1943 and 1944 two underground movements joined forces to form the Jewish General Fighting Organization with the intent of defeating the Germans
    Attempted to damage worksites and destroy German buildings
    Ältestenrat supplied it with money and protection
    Jewish Ghetto Police offered weapon training
    More than 300 were successful in escaping the ghetto to the outside forest surrounding the ghetto
    Resistance in ghetto
  • 11. Picture of Jewish partisans who were part of the Kovno ghetto resistance
  • 12. When the Kovno ghetto was ordered to become a concentration camp on June 21, 1943, it began steadily deteriorating
    October 26, 1943 was the first move to destroy the ghetto
    Many deported to Estonia and Auschwitz
    More series of mass killings at Fort IX
    Beginning July 8, 1943 the remaining Jews were being transported to other concentration camps in Germany
    SS ordered German troops to blow up the ghetto, with the suspicion that Jews were hiding in underground bunkers
    During the destruction, most of the archives were destroyed
    Destruction of ghetto
  • 13. Ruins of a building in the ghetto after German detruction
  • 14. By the end of the Holocaust, an estimated 500 Jews survived through escaping the Kovno ghetto or hiding in bunkers
    2,500 survived the concentration camps in Germany
    In Lithuania, only 8,000 to 9,000 Jews survived out of the prewar population of 235,000
    Post World War II
  • 15.  Klein, Dennis B. Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto. Boston: Little, Brown and, 1997. Print.
    "Kovno." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Web. 05 Feb. 2011. <http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005174>.
    "Inside the Ghetto -- Jewish Council." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Web. 05 Feb. 2011. <http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/kovno/council/council.htm>.
    Kovno Ghetto - A Buried History. Perf. Sir Martin Gilbert. 2002. Videocassette.