The Ninth Fort

Some terrible historical facts will never be forgotten. Genocide case implemented by Nazi was one of the most brutal criminal actions against humanity. Sadly, it was not a unique and the first such case in history, there are several nations in the world that faced this horror. However, the international Jewish genocide was the largest ever and took approximately 11 million victims. The most significant monument of genocide in Lithuania is the Ninth fort in Kaunas.

Before the start of the First World War Kaunas city became the important military fortress of the first class in Russian Empire. The Ninth fort was started building in 1902 and finished in 1913. It was the 2 floor barrack with guns, sanitary and daily lodgments inside.

There were storerooms of food and ammunition established, also underground passages extended connecting the barrack and the outside defensive wall. In 1924 the barrack became a branch of hard labor prison. In 1940-1941 the building worked only as a prison and a station for political convicts being departed to Soviet lagers. During the years of Nazi occupation (1941-1944) more than 50 000 people were killed in this fort. 30 000 of them were Jews who lived in Kaunas, 10 000 Jews were brought there to be killed from other countries. This tragic aspect formed the significant base to transform the building into memorable museum and monument of destruction of humanity in 1958. The Ninth fort became a museum of republic importance. In 1984 the new museum was built as well as a sculpture of 32 meters height symbolizing pain, death and eternal memento of mass massacre.

The museum nowadays is open for visitors every day except of Tuesday. There are two main parts of the Ninth fort museum: the Old museum and the New one. The Old museum holds expositions of various themes. Firstly, visitors can get acquainted with authentic historical facts and relicts of the First and the Second World Wars there. Authentic guns and ammunition, real former sweatboxes with authentic bed of boards, furniture and things used by prisoners are available to see. Moreover, visitors are able to listen to real terrible stories and facts about the living conditions there, also about a legendary escapade of 64 prisoners in 1943.  Authentic dying letterings on the prison walls are still extant and available to read and to touch. In the new museum there are exposed photos and documents of various historical events related to these brutal slaughters. In addition to this, there is also a separate excursion course leading through catacombs and the defensive wall of the Ninth fort. The defensive wall extends about 1 kilometer. Excursionists may see  cannons and ammunition of the First and Second Wars there, the real underground water well and storages.

Some visitors of the Ninth fort are simply looking for angst experience as they imagine that visiting the former place of murders is something like watching a horror film. Perhaps, these expectations are fulfilled well as everyone left the museum are a bit shocked.

Open hours: 1 April - 31 October : Mon, Wen-Sun 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
1 November - 31 March: Wen-Sun 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Entrance fee: 3-5 litas

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