Holocaust Exposition

Establishers of the Holocaust exposition called “The Catastrophe” have raised a question: “What did it mean to be a Jew in 1941-1944 in Lithuania?“. The answer can be found in the Holocaust exposition in Vilnius which tells about the life in Lithuania of Jew national minority since their arrival until their tragic ruin in the middle of 20th century.

The Holocaust exposition was opened in 1991 in Vilnius.  It was opened as a separate department of the whole Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum.  In a little wooden house called The Green House there is a shocking exposition held in 7 rooms. The exposition contains of pictures, documents, sculptures and other various relicts that represent the horror of Holocaust. The real moments of Jew life in ghettos are represented here as well as their spiritual and physical resistance against an inhuman behavior  pointed to their nation.

One of the main purposes of this exposition is to reach minds of the young generation.  In addition to this, as terrible historical facts made many incurable sores, establishers of the Holocaust exposition seek to instigate discussions and also they are open for cooperation and communication with everybody who cares about the past and the present. Sad, but true that the so called “Civilization of Litvaks” is a lost world which used to represent Vilnius as the Northen Jerusalem. The nation which gifted the World and Lithuania with such talented world famous artists like a legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz, a landscape painter Isaak Levitan,  the artist Chaim Sutinas, a sculptor Cemech Šabad and many others was almost totaly destroyed. Accoring to historical sources, after the World War II  94% of all Jews in Europe were killed. In Lithuania most of Jews were killed in Paneriai and in the 9th Fort in Kaunas. Also there was a big part of Jews who were killed near their homes in forests or Jewish cemetery. Very often their killers were familiar people conscripted by Nazi – their neighbors, associates, patients…  From 240 000 Jews living in Lithuania before the World War 2 there were only 10 000 left alive after the war. These people escaped while hiding in ghettos or with a selfless help by Lithuanians who risked their lives in order to hide Jews in their homes.

“The Catastrophe” exposition is one of Jewish heritage sights in Lithuania. Located in the center of Vilnius city it is easy reachable thus it must not be bypassed. Sometimes even an episodic interest in our past can be really influential and inspiring to respect the past and learn from it.

The Holocaust exposition is open Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sunday – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Entrance fee: 2-5 litas.