On 30 July, participants of the Road of Memory procession gathered at the Kupiškis Ethnographic Museum and headed towards the Laisvamanių cemetery in Kupiškis, where the Jews of Kupiškis were killed 80 years ago.
In Kupiškis, from July of 1941, the Jews were marched in groups of several dozen people to the Jewish and Laisvamaniai cemeteries. There, soldiers of the self-defense platoon used to shoot people. There is no single date in Kupiškis to mark the day of the massacre, as the extermination of the local Jewish community took place until the autumn of 1941. Not only locals but also some of the Jews from other districts (Šimoniai, Viešintai), as well as Lithuanians, party Soviet activists also, were shot in Kupiškis. It is estimated that a total of about 1,500 to 2,000 Jews from Kupiškis and neighboring districts were killed.
The commemoration event, which took place on 30 July, was attended by Linley Wartenberg, an Embassy employee, who spoke on behalf of Robert Gilchrist, Ambassador of the United States of America to Lithuania, Rasa Juknevičienė, Member of the European Parliament, Marius Janukonis, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, Dainius Bardauskas, the Mayor of Kupiškis District Municipality, Dr. Arūnas Bubnys, a Member of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Genadijus Kofmanas, Chairman of the Jewish Community of Panevėžys, Algirdas Venckus, Director of Kupiškis Public Library, Necha-Nadiežda Krakovskaja, a granddaughter of the murdered inhabitants of Kupiškis, teachers, and students of the Tolerance Education Center of Kupiškis Povilas Matulionis Progymnasium, participants of the Third Century University, as well as residents and guests of the city.
After the commemoration at the Laisvamaniai Cemetery, the guests and participants gathered at the Kupiškis Ethnographic Museum for the presentation of a newly published book “The Holocaust in the Province of Lithuania in 1941” published by the International Commission. The book was presented by its author and historian Dr. Arūnas Bubnys and Ingrida Vilkienė, the Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the International Commission, Coordinator of Educational Programs.
The event was organized by the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania together with Kupiškis Ethnographic Museum and partners: Kupiškis Povilas Matulionis Progymnasium, Kupiškis Art School, Kupiškis District Public Library, Kupiškis Youth Center, Kupiškis Third Century University, Kupiškis District Newspaper “Kupiškėnų mintys”, Kupiškis Television and Information Center.
Moments from the event:
Photo by Aušra JonušytėPhoto by Liveta ŠikarskaitėPhoto by Liveta Šikarskaitė Photo by Aušra Jonušytė Photo by Jurgita MalevičiūtėPhoto by Jurgita Malevičiūtė Photo by Jurgita Malevičiūtė Photo by Aušra Jonušytė