Ninth Fort

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Ninth Fort

 

a part of the Kaunas Fortress, which during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45 was converted by the fascist occupiers into the site of mass annihilation of Soviet and foreign citizens. It is 8 km from the center of Kaunas (Lithuanian SSR). It was constructed at the end of the 19th century on the western boundary of the Russian empire. From 1924 in bourgeois Lithuania it was a convict prison; after 1929 it became a political prison. After seizing Kaunas on June 24, 1941, the Hitlerites converted it into a death camp. Thus, on Oct. 28-29, 1941, 12,000 persons were shot there; in two days in November the death toll was 22,000; in January 1943, 5,000. In late 1943, fearing exposure, the Hitlerites forced the inmates to dig up the ditches and burn the corpses that had been buried in them.

On Dec. 25, 1943, 64 prisoners carried out a heroic escape from the Ninth Fort. No less than 80,000 persons were killed there between 1941 and 1944 (of these, 10,000 were Soviet war prisoners and 10,000 foreign citizens). The victims of the Hitlerites were Soviet people (Russians, Lithuanians, Jews, and others) and inhabitants of European countries occupied by the Nazis. In memory of the dead, a museum was opened at the Ninth Fort in 1959.

REFERENCES

Kondratas, Z. IX fort. Vilnius, 1961. (Translated from Lithuanian.)
Kaplanas, O. Deviatyi fort obviniaet. Vilnius, 1962. (Translated from Lithuanian.)