Citizenship lesson at Vilnius Simonas Daukantas Gymnasium

On February 6, a citizenship lesson – a meeting with Ya’arit Glezer, a descendant of Holocaust survivors, took place at the Vilnius Simonas Daukantas Gymnasium.

Dr. Deimantas Karvelis, a history teacher, introduced the guest from Israel and said that “there are 6 million reasons in the world to talk about the Holocaust every morning, while in Lithuania, there are 200,000 reasons to talk about it every day”.

Ya’arit Glezer began by telling the story of her parents, who escaped death in the Holocaust, explaining that she first learned about the Holocaust in her home. She told about her parents’ life in Kaunas before the Second World War, how her parents escaped from the Kaunas ghetto, how her father was caught and ended up in the mass murder site – Kaunas Fort IX, where he was assigned to a group of prisoner-rescuers who were supposed to erase the traces of the mass killings – the crimes against humanity. Ya’arit Glezer’s story focuses on the escape of 64 prisoners from Kaunas Fort IX because one of the prisoners was her father, who had secretly drilled more than 340 holes in the door. It was the hole in the door that prompted the escape from the site of the massacre.

The citizenship lesson also raised questions from the students: why did Ya’arit’s dad drill holes in the door? How did Ya’arit’s parents meet? What happened to Ya’arit’s grandparents who remained in the Kaunas ghetto, etc?

According to Deimantas Karvelis, the history teacher who led the citizenship lesson, “Personal stories not only tell about certain people but also reveal many details that add to the picture of society as a whole.” Therefore, at the end of the lesson, the teacher suggested that the students visit the Kaunas IX Fort Museum to learn even more about the history of the escape.

The meeting with Ya’arit Glezer – a civics lesson at Vilnius Simonas Daukantas Gymnasium was organised in cooperation with the Secretariat of the International Commission and the Embassy of Israel in Lithuania.