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Druckūnai - Eserekiai Grove

Murder site of Varėna's Jews Murder site of Varėna's Jews

On September 9, 1942 all the Jews of the town of Varėna were collected in the local synagogue. On that day, even though the Germans had tried to prevent him from doing so, the priest Jonas Gylys entered the synagogue and encouraged the Jews to be brave in their last hours rather than convert to Christianity.
On the following day (or, according to another source, on the 9th itself) all of the Jews were taken from the synagogue to Eserekiai - a grove of trees near the village of Druckūnai, 1.5 kilometers from the town, on the side of the road leading to the village. Two large pits had been dug there 25 meters apart, one for the men and one for the women. Lithuanian nationalists forced the victims in groups toward the pits and shot them there. Then the murderers looted the possessions of their victims.
According to the report of Karl Jaeger, commander of Einsatzkommando 3A, 831 Jews from Varėna (and the surrounding areas) – 541 men, 149 women, and 141 children – were killed on that day.