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Germans Removing Traces of Executed Jews in Lithuania, 120,000 Still Reported Alive

With the Russian Army on the borders of Lithuania, German authorities there are reported by the Swedish press to be “feverishly” wiping out all traces of the mass-executions of Jews which they have carried out in various Lithuanian towns since the occupation, apparently in order to escape retribution.

The Nya Dagligt Allehanda, quoting Lithuanian underground publications, estimates that of the 230,000 Jews of Lithuania, including those of Vilna, there are still about 120,000 alive. One clandestine newspaper, Neprilausoma Lietuve, points out, however, that “it is doubtful whether the remnants of the Jews will be allowed by the Germans to live much longer.” At the same time, it reports that the Germans are exhuming the bodies of Vilna Jews from the mass-graves in the Varena sand fields and are burning the corpses “in an attempt to remove the traces of their crimes and avoid the consequences.”

Another underground newspaper, Laisve Kotovas, also reports that the Germans are exhuming Jewish corpses from mass-graves near Kaunas. The paper says that Lithuanian policemen refused to participate in the mass-executions of Jews, and were replaced by pro-Nazi Ukrainians and Russians and by members of the battalions led by the Russian commander Vlassov who deserted the Red Army and joined the Nazi forces.

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