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Yad Vashem This Month in Holocaust History
December
December 1943, Youth in line for distribution of soup in the workers' kitchen in the Kovno Ghetto, Lithuania

December 1943

Youth in line for distribution of soup in the workers' kitchen in the Kovno Ghetto, Lithuania

When the Kovno Ghetto was sealed off in August 1941, it contained 29,760 Jews. In the following two and a half months, thousands of Jews were murdered. The Aktionen were then discontinued and a prolonged period of relative calm set in, which lasted up to March 1944. Of the 17,412 Jews now left in the ghetto, most of the adults were put on forced labor, mainly in military installations outside the ghetto. They were under constant, unbearable pressure and harassment. Two thousand Jews, most of them skilled artisans, were organized into "brigades" and put on jobs related to the war effort. Another 4,600 Jews worked in the ghetto workshops, where no Germans or Lithuanians were in attendance. Instead of wages, the Jews were given food rations, which in fact were on a starvation level. To stay alive, the ghetto inhabitants sold off their remaining possessions and used the proceeds to buy the food that was being smuggled into the ghetto at great risk. More about Kovno...

Yad Vashem Photo Archives, Tory Collection, 7003/2