1 Execution site(s)
Edward, born in 1927, describes the pit he saw about a year after the execution: "Y.U.: Was the pit filled only once or was it filled several times?
Witness: They filled it that day and that was it. But after a year, the ground gave way in the course of the decomposition process. The chinks appeared, so we had to go there, bring some sand, fill it once again and even it all out. Even I had to do that.
Y.U.: What did you see when you arrived at the execution site?
Witness: There was a spot where the ground had caved in. The smell was unpleasant. So we filled it in, we left a heap of sand on the surface, like we do with all graves. After some time, the ground began to cave in again but not as much as in the beginning.
Y.U.: What were the dimensions of the mass grave?
Witness: I didn’t measure it but I think it was about 40-50 meters long and about 6-7 meters wide. It was quite a big pit. They buried a few thousand people there..." (Witness N°72, interviewed in Vilnius, on April 8, 2014)
"I have been living in Naujoji Vilnia since 1924, and I also lived there during the German occupation. I know very well that the Germans didn’t shoot inhabitants in Naujoji Vilnia, but arrested them and brought them away. The entire Jewish population of the town was arrested and gathered in one place; after a while they were taken to the village of Vėliučionys in Mickūnai volost and shot in the forest next to the village. Not only Jews from Naujoji Vilnia were brought to Vėliučionys, but also those from all over Vilnius Uyezd, from the towns of all volosts. All of them were also shot." [Deposition of Feliks Y., born in 1897, a Polish worker from Naujoji Vilnia, taken on April 15, 1945, RG-22.002M.7021-94/438]
Vėliučionys was first mentioned in written sources in 1798. A manor with large stables and farm-laborers’ houses was there at the time. In 1900, a colony for juvenile offenders was established in the manor by the tsarist regime, while after the WWI it became a Jewish Agricultural School. Children sent there during summer vacation were taught about agriculture and gardening.
Karl Jager noted in his report that 1159 Jews were killed in Naujoji Vilnia on September 22, 1941. However, witnesses and other historical evidence indicate that the mass execution took place several kilometers south of the town, near the village of Vėliučionys. Jews from Naujoji Vilnia were murdered there as well as Jews from Šumskas, Kena and other nearby shtetls. According to witnesses interviewed by Yahad, victims were kept in the Vėliučionys manor for several days before the execution.
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