The Vidzgiris Forest
On September 7, 1941, following an order issued by Einsatzkommando 3a
, German police units assisted by armed Lithuanian nationalists deported 1,279 Jews from the Alytus ghetto to the large prison adjacent to the barracks on the west side of the town. They were held there for three days without food or water. Members of the killing squads then transferred the Jewish captives by truck to pits, dug several days earlier by Soviet prisoners of war, and shot them. The Jewish victims were buried in nine pits in the Vidzgiris Forest, 1.5 kilometers from the bridge, three kilometers from Alytus, and two kilometers from the barracks. Local residents, some of whom participated in the murders, testified that during the shootings, several victims displayed individual acts of resistance. The few that managed to escape hid among solicitous Lithuanians. Various historical committees determined that tens of thousands of local Jews, as well as Jews from foreign countries, were murdered in the Vidzgiris Forest.