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Written Testimonies

Masha Reichman Masha Reichman YVA O.71/39

Masha Reichman, born 1924, Plunge (Lithuania), testifies:
… The day the Germans entered the town, the partisans [Lithuanian nationalists] spread a rumor that the town’s Jewish physician along with the pharmacy’s staff had been poisoning the Lithuanians for years. The partisans arrested the Jewish physician, his wife, and the pharmacist, Ephraim Izrailovich, together with his workers .... The partisans, headed by Pabrieza, drove all the prisoners behind the town to a forest near the village of Kausenai, once a summer resort, and shot them all [….].
A short time before the killings began, a fire had broken out in a lane where the Jews had once resided. The Lithuanians blamed the Jews for starting the fire while going to draw water. The town’s local residents and peasants related that the Jews had been driven out from the synagogue in families, several groups at a time. The partisans led them to a “secular” cemetery, five kilometers from Plunge, in the direction of Kretinga, and shot them all to death.

Testimony of Shaul Shenker <a href='photos/505/kausenai_wt.pdf' target='_blank' style='font-size:x-small;'>Click for PDF</a> Testimony of Shaul Shenker Click for PDF YVA M.1.E/1562

Shaul Shenker, born in Plunge, testifies:
In the first days, two trucks were loaded with elderly and sick men and women; they were driven towards an unknown location and killed.… It took two weeks to gather the fugitive Jews. Then came the last stage: an SS man and a few Lithuanians set fire to three places along Rietavas Street, as well as the synagogue. Immediately, a rumor spread that the Jews had done it. Then the shooting began: within half an hour, fifty to sixty Jews were driven out by foot to the forest, where pits had already been dug. As they walked past the textile factory, the murderers asked the armed guards standing there to try out their weapons on the expelled Jews. The transport by truck began immediately. All night long they took the Jews to the Dubikes Forest (2-3 kilometers from Plunge on the way to Kretinga) and shot them ....