The Kaunas Ninth Fort and Memorial

I am going to tell you briefly about the history of the Ninth Fort and in another article I will tell you more about the war history that Lithuania has lived.

At the end of the 19th century, Kaunas was fortified and was encircled by eight forts. Its forts were built by the Soviet Union, the aim was to protect the western borders of the Russian Empire.
Construction of the ninth fort began in 1902 and was completed on the eve of the First World War.

In 1940, the Ninth Fort was used by the NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) to house political prisoners awaiting transfer to the Gulag forced labour camps in Siberia.

During the period from 1914 to 1941, Lithuania has been through several German and Soviet occupations, and the Ninth Fort too. (I’ll explain it all in another article)

But the most traumatic period for the Baltic States was the Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1944. Because during the years of Nazi occupation, the ninth fort was used as a site for mass murder…

Jews from as far away as France, Austria and Germany were brought to Kaunas during the Nazi occupation and executed in the Ninth Fort.

That’s why, the Ninth Fort was the place of death for more than a half million Jewish people.

After World War II, the Soviets again used the Ninth Fort as a prison for several years.

The memorial to the victims of fascism at Ninth Fort in Kaunas, Lithuania, was erected in 1984, the monument is 32 m high

The grass field, where the monument is located, is the place where the victims of the massacres were most massively executed.
There are memorial tombs next to them, with sentences in many languages written on them :

This is the place where Nazis and their assistants killed more than 30,000 Jews from Lithuania and other European countries

In 1958, a museum was established in the Ninth Fort. And this museum retraces the history of war and resistance in Lithuania with objects and stories to show the atrocities of Nazis and Soviets suffered by Lithuania and the Baltic countries.

I recommend this museum which is emotional and painful at the same time, we can see that the Baltic countries fought to regain their independence several times.

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