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Former Lithuanian Minister Reveals Thousands of Lithuanian Jews Killed by Nazis

The massacre of thousands of Jews in many small towns in Lithuania was reported here today by M. Bilevithius, a former member of the Lithuanian Government.

Mr. Bilevithius told a correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that almost all the Jews living in the towns of Vilkovishky, Tavrik, Olita, Mariampol and Neuschtadt were wiped out by the German troops. At Vilkovishky the Germans entered the town early in the afternoon. By that time the streets were already filled with corpses of persons – including many Jews – who had been killed during the Nazi bombardment. That evening all the Jews were ordered to report at the local church. About 100 of the strongest men were chosen to dig trenches, while the remainder of the Jews were taken out and shot and their bodies flung into the pits. The same procedure was followed in the other towns, the former Lithuanian official stated.

A 72-year-old Jewish woman from Mariampol, Faiga Reibshtein, who escaped from there, together with her son, told the JTA today that the Germans had murdered four of her sons, fourteen grandchildren, four daughters-in-law and two great-grand children. The entire family of Isaac Fein, a school-teacher from Neuschtadt, was murdered, including his father and mother, his wife and their two children and two of his brothers and an eleven-year-old sister.

A Russian writer who escaped from Minsk reveals in the Soviet press today that the massacres of tens of thousands Jews were carried out by gangs of criminals imported from Berlin to aid the Gestapo. “Jewish men were forced to drag carts containing heaps of Jewish corpses to burial grounds outside the city,” he writes “The German Commissar-General von Kube ordered all the Jews who remained alive confined in a ghetto, bounded by Gorki, Staroslobodska, Storozewska and Ludamantska streets, which was enclosed by high walls and barbed wire. Here the Jews were tortured by the Gestapo men and cries could be heard in the ghetto all day and all night. Jews were driven to work early in the morning and returned late at night.

“Von Kube finally decided, however, that the Jews were too much trouble. All the ghetto residents were then driven to the outskirts of the city and tens of thousands were mowed down by machine guns. They were buried in a long moat which extended for many kilometers,” the escaped eye-witness reports.

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