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Visiting Info
Opening Hours:

Sunday to Thursday: ‬09:00-17:00

Fridays and Holiday eves: ‬09:00-14:00

Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays.

Entrance to the Holocaust History Museum is not permitted for children under the age of 10. Babies in strollers or carriers will not be permitted to enter.

Drive to Yad Vashem:
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The History of the Šiauliai Jewish Community

Jews first settled in Šiauliai during the 17th century. By the beginning of the 20th century Jews constituted over half of the city's population.

Before World War II, Šiauliai was home to some 6,600 Jews. In June 1941, when the city was occupied by German forces, the Germans and Lithuanians murdered hundreds of the city’s Jews in a series of massacres that took place in a nearby forest. At the end of 1941 two ghettos were established in the city, and murder operations continued to take place. Hundreds of Jews succeeded in finding temporary shelter from the shootings in forced labor camps. At the same time, the ghettoized Jewish community worked to maintain cultural activities within the ghetto.

As the Red Army drew near, the ghetto of Šiauliai was liquidated. Most of the Jews who remained in the ghetto and the forced labor camps were deported westwards, to labor camps in Poland and Germany. Few of them survived.

After the Holocaust, several hundred Jews returned to Šiauliai. A few dozen of the returning Jews survived in areas occupied by the Nazis; however the majority had fled into the Soviet Union before the Nazi occupation began. Today, a few hundred Jews still live in the city.

Milicijos Street in Šiauliai, prewar

The Šiauliai Jewish Community before the Holocaust

Šiauliai was established as early as the thirteenth century, and the first Jews settled in the city four hundred years later, during the seventeenth century. Some of them arrived as refugees from the pogroms perpetrated under Bohdan Khmelnytsky against Ukrainian and Polish Jews during the Khmelnitsky Uprising (1648–1649). At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Jews were granted permits allowing them to settle in the city and build houses and public buildings. By the mid-eighteenth century there were some 700 Jews living in the city, constituting about a fifth of its total population....
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The German Occupation of Šiauliai and the First Roundups

The German Occupation of Šiauliai and the First Roundups

When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, hundreds of Jews began fleeing the city, heading deeper into Soviet territory. At the same time hundreds of Jewish refugees fleeing from the advancing German Army arrived in the city. Four days after their invasion of the Soviet Union, the Germans conquered Šiauliai. As they entered the city they were accompanied by armed Lithuanian nationalists.
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Children receiving a meal at one of the study halls in the Šiauliai ghetto

The Šiauliai Ghetto

On 1 September 1941, both sections of the Šiauliai ghetto were fenced in and sealed, and Lithuanian guards were posted at its gates. Entering and leaving the ghetto required a special permit. One of the most severe problems in the ghetto was overcrowding: some 5,500 Jews, residents of the city as well as refugees who arrived in the fall of 1941 after having escaped the mass murders in nearby villages, crowded into an area no larger than 8,000 square meters. With time this area shrank even further. Officially, the Jews were allowed to bring only a limited amount of possessions with them into...
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Monument to the Holocaust victims from Šiauliai, Lithuania

The Liquidation of the Šiauliai Ghetto

In January 1943 a total of 4,836 Jews remained in the two sections of the Siauliai ghetto. As many men had already been murdered and two-thirds of the ghetto’s population were women. 236 people were above the age of 61.In the summer of 1943 the situation of the Jews of Šiauliai took a turn for the worse. The number of guards at the ghetto’s gates was increased, and Jews caught smuggling food were imprisoned. At least one Jew was publically hanged. In September 1943 the Šiauliai ghetto came under the jurisdiction of the SS, and SS guards joined the Lithuanians posted...
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