Linkmenys (Lingmyan, Lingmian, Łyngmiany) | Utena

Antanas K., born in 1918: “I was friends with two Jewish boys, whose families used to live in our neighborhood – Elijas and Solaukis. We used to play together and I learned how to speak their language.” ©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad - In Unum Anastasija J., born in 1928: “The Jews of Linkmenys didn’t work on Saturdays.  They invited me to light candles or bring them water. In exchange, they would give me Matzah.” ©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad - In Unum Janina B., born in 1925: “After the execution of the Jews in Linkmenys, all the Jewish belongings were gathered in the synagogue and local inhabitants could take whatever they wanted.” ©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of 70 Jews of Linkmenys, murdered in mid-July 14, 1941 by a Lithuanian squad of white armbanders in the meadow near the Dvariškės village. ©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad - In Unum The monument is dedicated to 120 Jews – children, women and men – murdered by the Nazi and their local helpers. ©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Linkmenys

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Meadow
Memorials:
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims:
70

Witness interview

Anastasija J., born in 1928: "The Jews of Linkmenys were escorted to the shooting site by the partisans armed with rifles. The column passed by the road in front of my house. My uncle, aged of 25 years old, was among the guards. Afterwards, in the early afternoon, I heard the shots, including gust of gunfire, coming out from the execution site. The victims were shot on the ground and then their corpses were buried." (Testimony N°YIU276LT, interviewed in Pusvarsnėliai, on May 1, 2016)

Soviet archives

"In the beginning of the war between Germany and the Soviet Union, in summer of 1941, a so-called "partisan squad" operated in the town of Linkmenys. The leader of the squad was Adomas L. I also was a member of this squad. […] I don’t remember the exact date, but it was the end of July [1941] when Adomas L. assembled all the members of the squad […] and told the partisans that all Jewish families had to be gathered in a school building in the village of Dvariškės. [...] To fulfil the task, I went to the house of that [Jewish] family, which had 3 or 4 members. […] We took the family to the school building in the village of Dvariškės. When we approached the school, Adomas L. met us. He told me and the other partisans to bring the Jews to a meadow outside the village of Dvariškės, close to the lake Ūsiai. […] When all the Jews were brought to the assembly point, Adomas L. came there. He inspected the assembly point and told the Jews to lie down facing the ground. The Jews did that. After that, Lunius told the partisans to start the shooting upon his signal, i.e. after he fires a pistol. The Jews lying on the ground heard that they were about to be shot, and they started screaming and crying. Standing 30 meters away from the shooting place, I clearly saw Adomas L. firing a pistol, but I don‘t remember whether he shot in the air or at the Jews lying on the ground. It happened at about 12-14 o‘clock. After his shot, all the partisans who were armed started shooting at the Jews lying on the ground. The shooting of the Soviet citizens of Jewish nationality lasted about 15 minutes." [Deposition of Antanas Beleišis, born in 1914, a Lithuanian worker originally from Linkmenys, taken on December 31, 1959; Lithuanian Special Archives, KGB criminal files, Fund K–1, Inventory No. 58, File No. 46360/3, Vol. 2, p. 213-216]

Historical note

Linkmenys is situated approximately 32 km (20 mi) southeast of Utena and about 30 km (18.6 mi) northwest of Švenčionys. The first mention of the Jewish presence dates back to the 19th century. At the same time, a Jewish cemetery was founded in the town. According to the 1909 census, 200 Jewish residents were living in Linkmenys, comprising about 53% of the total population. Local Jews were engaged in commerce, particularly the timber trade, craft work and the service sector, providing the services of blacksmiths, shoemakers and other specialists. Due to the surrounding lakes and fields, many Jews found opportunities in the fishing industry, while a number worked the land. The town was home to a synagogue.

In the interwar period, Linkmenys was divided between Poland and Lithuania. The demarcation line between two states passed through the Jewish cemetery. In 1940, Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union. The exact number of the Jewish population that remained in Linkmenys on the eve of the war remains unknown, but according to accounts of local witnesses, there were still many Jews living in the town.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Linkmenys was occupied by German forces at the end of June – beginning of July, 1941. A Lithuanian partisan squad of white armbanders, which would later become part of the auxiliary police force, was formed in Linkmenys. In the middle of July 1941, white armbanders rounded up the Jewish men, women and children of Linkmenys in the school building of the nearby village of Dvariškės. From there, the detainees were taken to a meadow, located on the outskirts of Dvariškės, near the Ūsiai Lake, where they were shot and buried in a pit dug afterwards. The shooting continued into the next day, when the Jews who had gone into hiding were captured and killed at the same execution site, making in all 70 victims (120 according to other sources). Through the accounts of local witnesses, a number of Lithuanians were executed alongside the Jews because they were accused of the loyalty to the Soviet regime. According to sources, the remaining Jews of Linkmenys were escorted to the military training camp in Švenčionėliai and shot on October 8-10, along with thousands of other Jews assembled there. Soon after the Aktion, Jewish belongings were looted and distributed between local inhabitants.

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

 

Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania

Go to the townpage of Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania

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