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