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main destination guide museums museum of genocide victims


MUSEUMS IN VILNIUS

Museum of Genocide Victims

   The official name of the museum is the Museum of Genocide Victims, but more often it is called the museum of KGB. The museum was established at the direction of Minister of Culture and Education of the Republic of Lithuania on October 14, 1992. The exposition was situated in the building that for all Lithuanians has become the symbol of sufferings and grief. In 1940-1990 this building housed the KGB headquarters and the political prison where daily hundreds of prisoners were executed and sentenced to death.
   There are several expositions in the museum:
    - Lithuania in 1940 - 1941: the Persecutions Startů
    The Soviet Union occupied Lithuania on June 15, 1940. There were a lot of opponents of the new regime in the country, that's why the first steps taken by the Soviet Power were the creation of the repression intuitions that would find and persecute those who were not satisfied with the new government. By that time the penal institution of the NKVD had had abundant experience of the struggle against enemies of the USSR. Already in July 1940 five hundred Lithuanian patriots, intellectuals and former officials were arrested.
   - Former Cells of Executions
    You can visit 19 former cells, including a three-square-meter isolation cell and three other punishment cells. Cold, damp nine-square-meter cells held up to 20 prisoners, who were not allowed to lie, sit, or even close their eyes during the day. The walls of the "soft" cell were padded with soundproof material not only to muffle the screams of victims and the sound of beatings, but also to drive a prisoner to disorientation and madness as he sat in absolute darkness and silence. The floors of two "wet" cells were flooded with water (or ice in winter) and prisoners were forced to stand on 30-cm metal disks, without sleeping for days.
   - The KGB Inner Prison
    This was a prison only for political convicts. Soviet Government considered them to be more dangerous than other criminals. According to horrifying statistics, that has been recently officially published, 200,000 Lithuanians were imprisoned between 1944 and 1953, and more than 27,000 killed in partisan battles and in prisons.
    The visiting of this museum cannot be called a pleasant experience. But people should remember about the tragic pages of history in order not to repeat the terrific mistakes in future.
    This is the only museum of this kind on the territory of the former Soviet Union.



Address: Address: Auku St., 2a
Phone: 370-5-2496264, 370-5-2497427