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Published: 6 december 2012 15:24

Tour invites young people to experience life of Jews in Vilnius Ghetto

Buvusioje Vilniaus žydų geto teritorijoje įrengta ekspozicija „Malina“
Žydų kultūros ir informacijos centro nuotr. / Buvusioje Vilniaus žydų geto teritorijoje įrengta ekspozicija „Malina“

A project inviting young people to get acquainted with the Jewish culture starts in Vilnius on Sunday.

Organizers say that the European Commission-funded project Ponar Lullaby (Being a Jew), part of the Active European Remembrance program, will last until May.

8 groups consisting of 50 people will be formed between December 2012 and April 2013 (on Sundays). They will spend a day in a former ghetto - a typical day of a Vilnius Jew, and also visit the Ponary (Paneriai) Memorial. Participants will get acquainted with the history of Vilnius Litvaks, their culture, everyday life, and also honor the memory of victims of the Ponary Massacre.

The aim of the project is to start a discussion among young people of different nationalities, who are not familiar with either the history of Jewish people, or the Holocaust, about the lessons of the past and values of democracy in Europe.

The Ponary Massacre was the mass-murder of 100,000 people, mostly Jews and Polish intelligentsia, by German SD, SS, and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators between July 1941 and August 1944 near the railway station of Paneriai (Polish: Ponary) on the outskirts of Vilnius. Almost the entire Vilnius Ghetto was destroyed during the years.

Over 90 percent of Lithuania's pre-war Jewish population of over 200,000 were killed during the Nazi occupation of Lithuanian in 1941-1944.

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