Twelve Thousand Holocaust Victims Commemorated Near Ukmergė

Twelve Thousand Holocaust Victims Commemorated Near Ukmergė

The annual commemoration in fall of about twelve thousand Holocaust victims killed in the Pivonija forest near Ukmergė (Vilkomir) were commemorated at their mass murder site Sunday. The annual commemoration takes place at noon on the first Sunday in the month of September.

Members of the Ukmergė Regional Jewish Community and a significant group of Jews from Vilnius, Šiauliai and the Kaunas Jewish Community attended the commemoration of the third largest mass murder site in Lithuania. So did representatives of the Ukmergė Regional Administration and the US embassy.

Ukmergė Regional Jewish Community chairman Artūras Taicas spoke, recalling the sea of people who moved from Ukmergė to the Pivonija woods 79 years ago, including thousands of children.

Chairman Taicas thanked the Tolerance Center of the Dukstyna primary school whose history teacher Vida Pulkauninkienė has been leading delegations of pupils to the victim commemoration ceremony in Pivonija forest for 17 years now, where the students begin the school year with a lesson of the history of what happened there.

Olegas Rimanas attended with his father, as they usually do every year. This year Rimanas presented a gift to the Ukmergė Regional Jewish Community, a zither which he had acquired at a market in Vilnius. The giving of this gift in the Pivonija forest was very symbolic: research into the provenance of the item turned up it had belonged to Jewish musicians who had lived in Ukmergė. The Ukmergė Regional Jewish Community thanks Rimanas for this priceless gift.

At the close of the commemoration ceremony Ukmergė Regional Jewish Community members congratulated the younger members of the Community who had scored 100% on their final exams.

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