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Only Three Jews Found Alive in Vilna by Russian Troops: Heaps of Bodies Uncovered

Red Army troops who captured Vilna found only three Jews in that city, which had a pre-war Jewish population of well over 50,000, according to a front-line dispatch appearing in the Moscow press.

“In one of the streets of the city,” the dispatch says, “Red army men ran into an old bearded Jew. He walked with outstretched hands as if clutching the air. By his side limped a woman and boy. These three were the only survivors of the Jewish population of the city.”

At the wayside station of Panersial, not far from Vilna, the report says, the Russian troops found a field which had been used as an execution center by the Nazis. Here thousands of Jews, Poles, Lithuanians and Russians had been killed by the Germans. At many other places the troops come across piles of bones and charred bodies, traces of Gestapo executions which the Germans had no time to obliterate before they were forced to quit the Lithuanian capital.