Adutiškis (formerly Godutiški, Hoduciszki, Goduzischki) | Vilnius

/ The Jewish cemetery of Adutiškis, surrounded by a fence. The cemetery is located on the outskirts of the village. ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad - In Unum The Jewish cemetery of Adutiškis. ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad - In Unum Vlada, born in 1928: “Many Jews lived in Adutiškis before the war. I remember that one of them owned a mill and another one had a bakery.” ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview. ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad - In Unum Juozas S., born in 1930: “Jews lived in the brick houses in the center of Adutiškis, on Vidžių street. Many of them ran the shops. They were very kind and gave us goods on loan if we didn’t have cash to pay.” ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad - In Unum Juozas S., born in 1930, showing the place where two Jewish girls were raped and one of them was killed right after the crime. Her body is buried on the spot. ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad - In Unum The grave of the second Jewish girl who was raped. She was taken from the hospital and brought to this place where she was shot to death and buried. ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Adutiškis

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Near the river (1,2)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Vlada, born in 1928: "After the Germans arrived in Adutiškis, rumors circulated that Jews were being shot. As a result, local Jews began to hide everywhere. For about a week, some of them were hidden by my family in our house. In general, wealthy Jews found refuge in wealthy local families, while poor ones took refuge in poor families. Some time later, the Jews were taken from Adutiskis to Švenčionėliai. My neighbor was requisitioned by the Germans to take them there. Accompanied by a member of the police, he had to go from house to house looking for Jews. During this time, some Jews managed to escape and went into hiding." (Testimony N°YIU67LT, interviewed in Adutiškis, on April 6, 2014)

Soviet archives

"In September 1941, I can’t remember the exact date, the Lithuanian-German police rounded up around 400 men [in Švenčionėliai] […] and escorted them to the polygon.
When we were picked up from work or home, we were told to bring our shovels with us. This is what we did. So there were 400 of us with shovels. We were convoyed to the polygon, which was 2km from Švenčionėliai, where we had to dig a pit. We dug a pit 100m long, 25m wide and 5m deep. We dug all night. When we finished digging the pit, the dimensions of which had been given to us in advance, we were allowed go home. The next day, around 11 a.m., we heard screaming, crying and moaning coming out from the [execution site], as well as bursts of machine-gun and rifle fire. It was horrible. We had to endure these screams and moans. The shooting went on for two whole days. After that, we were again requisitioned with our shovels by the police in order to fill in the pit. This is how I learned about the pit. This enormous pit was filled with the bodies of Jewish citizens. When I looked into the pit, I saw that some of them were still breathing. When we were taken there, I also saw white Lithuanian bandits lying on the ground next to the pit, because they were completely drunk. There were [a few illegible words, probably clothes] placed on a hip next to the shot victims. There was blood everywhere. There were piles of underwear, clothes and boots. […] All these Lithuanian traitors and policemen were supervised by a German who directed the shooting." [Deposition of Pavel P., a requisitioned local inhabitant, given to the State Extraordinary Soviet Commission [ChGK), on June 3, 1945; GARF 7021-94-435/Copy USHMM RG.22-002M, p.318-323]

Historical note

Adutiškis is situated approximately 115 km (71 mi) northeast of Vilnius and about 28 km (17,4 mi) east of Švenčionys, the district center. The first mention of the Jewish community dates back to the first half of the 19th century, with 579 Jews recorded as being settled in the village in 1847. The Jewish cemetery was founded at the same period. According to 1897 census, when Adutiškis was part of the Russian Empire, 1,373 Jewish residents were recorded as living in the village, comprising 61% of the local population. In the interwar period of the 20th century, Adutiškis was part of Poland. In 1921, there were 875 Jewish residents.

Local Jews were primarily engaged in commerce, as well as service sector and artisanal work, which included a variety of Jewish craftsmen. Jews owned and operated many of the village’s businesses, such as a mill, a bakery and a pharmacy. Adutiškis was home to four Jewish prayer houses, including one synagogue, two Jewish public schools with Yiddish and Hebrew language instruction, a Jewish library, a drama-club and other cultural places. A number of the young Jews were engaged in Zionist and Bund movements.

When Adutiškis was invaded by the Red Army in September 1939, the economic situation deteriorated as the nationalization of the Jewish stores and enterprises led to a shortage of goods and rising prices. According to some sources, on the eve of the German occupation, about 870 Jews lived in Adutiškis, comprising over 30% of the local population.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Adutiškis was occupied by German forces on July 2, 1941. A Lithuanian partisan squad of white armbanders was formed in the village. According to some sources, around 200 Jews, including fugitives from nearby villages, were murdered by Lithuanian policemen right after the Germans arrival. A number of Jewish women were raped before being killed. Yahad managed to locate two individual graves of those victims. From July 1941, following the establishment of the Judenrat [Jewish council], anti-Jewish policies were implemented in Adutiškis, mandating that Jews wear distinctive Star of David symbols and perform forced labor. Restrictions on movement were imposed, forbidding the Jews from leaving the village. 

After a brief period of military administration, Adutiškis transitioned to German civil administration in August 1941. On August 15, 1941, a ghetto was set up in the village, compelling local Jews to move to the designated area on Vidžiu Street, guarded by local policemen. At the same time, the Jewish houses that remained empty were looted.

The ghetto was liquidated over the course of an Aktion, carried out in late September 1941, by German authorities, assisted by local policemen. About 1,000 Jews, including those transferred from the nearby village of Stajėtiškis, were escorted to Švenčionėliai and confined within the barracks of the former Soviet military training camp, known as the Poligon transit camp. Those unable to walk were loaded onto numerous carts and driven there by requisitioned locals. After several days of detention, the Jews of Adutiškis and Stajėtiškis were executed along with other Jewish detainees from the Švenčionys region from October 8 to 10, 1941.

A group of Jewish skilled workers were spared during the ghetto liquidation and remained in Adutiškis to perform forced labor. 19 Jews who had tried to escape eighter during the ghetto liquidation or while performing forced labor, were executed in the Adutiškis police station.

For more information about the killing of Jews in Švenčionėliai please visit the corresponding profile.

Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania

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