Tag Archives: Genrich Agranovski

A Protestant Pastor in Vilnius Speaks Out About Church Steps Still Made of Pilfered Jewish Gravestones


by Julius Norvila

“And Rachel died and was buried on the road to Ephrath—the same is Beth-lehem. And Jacob set up a gravestone upon her grave, it is the Tomb of Rachel unto this very day.”

 (Genesis 35, 19-20)

Back in 1989 I had become a minister in our Reformed Evangelical Church here in Vilnius. The end of the 1980s in Lithuania had been a particularly pivotal period for church-state relations. The government changed its policy radically. There was a liberalization of religious activities and along with religious revivals came the idea of restitution of church properties that had been nationalized under the communist policies of the Soviet state. In order to bring to realization that idea, and to speed the process of restitution, we as reformed protestants organized a number of open air meetings and worship services on the street in front of historical church buildings in Vilnius and Kaunas, Lithuania’s two major cities.

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The Stones Tell Me. After All, They Lived Here.


by Genrich Agranovski

Genrich Agranovski is co-author (with Irina Guzenberg) of Vilnius: Sites of Jewish Memory as well as other works on Jewish Vilna. This comment was translated from the Russian by Ludmila Makedonskaya. See also DH’s section on old Jewish cemeteries and mass graves.

At the beginning of the 1990s a commission tentatively called “Memorial” was founded at the Jewish Community of Lithuania. Its aims included collecting information about the mass murder and burial sites of the World war II period, Jewish cemeteries, as well as other issues connected with the memory of the perished. The commission was headed by Joseph Levinson. Being a member of the commission, I was in charge of collecting information on Jewish cemeteries in Vilnius. There had been two large Jewish cemeteries in Vilnius before the war: the “old one,” founded, according to Vilna Jewish lore, at the end of the fifteenth century and used till 1830, and Zarechenskoye [“beyond the river”; in Yiddish Zarétshe] (Antokolskoye), which was used from 1828 up to June 1941. The latter was the biggest in the city. According to the Jewish ethnographer Solomon Shik, seventy thousand people had been buried there by 1937. In Soviet times both  cemeteries were destroyed and the gravestones were used for construction purposes.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Genrich Agranovski, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Reformed Evangelical Church (Vilnius) | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The Stones Tell Me. After All, They Lived Here.

Мне камни говорят — они здесь жили


Генрих Аграновский

В начале 1990-х годов при еврейской Общине Литвы была создана комиссия, условно называвшаяся «Мемориал», в задачи которой  входил сбор информации о местах массовых убийств,захоронений евреев в годы 2-й Мировой войны, еврейских кладбищах и другие проблемы, связанные с памятью о погибших и умерших евреях. Комиссию возглавил Иосиф Левеинсон. Я, как член комиссии, отвечал за сбор информации о еврейских кладбищах Вильнюса. До войны в Вильнюсе было два еврейских кладбища-Старое,основанное по преданию в конце 15-го столетия и действовававшее до 1830 года, и Зареченское (Антокольское), действовавшее с 1828г. вплоть до июня 1941 года. Последнее было самым большим в городе-на нем ,по данным еврейского краеведа Соломона Шика, до 1937 г. было похоронено 70 000 человек. В советские времена оба кладбища были разрушены ,и могильные камни были использованы для строительных целей.

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Note: Each author is exclusively responsible for his or her signed contribution. DH’s transparency policy does not permit use of pseudonyms (with the one exception of legendary Vilna wag Motke Chabad). The editor is responsible for unsigned posts. We respect the right of reply and welcome submissions (at: info@defendinghistory.com).

Genrich Agranovski

Shimon Alperovich

Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis

Yitzhak Arad

Evaldas Balčiūnas  (+ the trials)

Chaim Bargman

Stanley H. Barkan

Ruth Barnett

Rabbi Elchonon Baron

Danny Ben-Moshe

Didier Bertin

Saulius Beržinis

Roza Bieliauskienė

Roland Binet

Herbert Block

Ruta (Reyzke) Bloshtein

Mark Blumberg

Aleksandras Bosas

Valentinas Brandišauskas

Frank Brendle

Wyman Brent

Franziska Bruder

Chaim Burshtein

Simon Butt

Motke Chabad

Saul Chapnick

Milan Chersonski

Josh Cohen

Rachel Croucher

David Cukier

Algis Davidavičius

Denis Daneman

Dónal Denham

Alan Dershowitz

Leonidas Donskis

Dalia Epstein (Dalija Epšteinaitė)

Rabbi S. J. Feffer

Aleksandrs Feigmanis

Pinchos Fridberg

Berel Fried

Steinar Gil

Alexander Gogun

Ira Gold

Eleonora Groisman

Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius)

Kevin Hamilton

Clemens Heni

Leena Hietanen

Mikhail Iossel

Lord Janner of Braunstone

Agnieszka Jablonska 

Peter Jukes

Sergey Kanovich

Leon Kaplan

Dovid Katz

Rafael Katz

Juris Kaža

Viktorija Kazlienė

Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

Regina Kopilevich

Rachel Kostanian

Tzvi-Hirsh Kritzer

Faina Kukliansky

Andrius Kulikauskas

Arkady Kurliandchik

Aleksandr Kuzmin

Konrad Kwiet

Sid (Shnayer) Leiman

Dov Levin

Michael Levinas

Joseph Levinson

Miriam Kagan (Kahn) Lieber

Monica Lowenberg

Michael and Fausta Maass

Denis MacShane

Simon Malkes

Joseph Melamed

Dr. Rachel Margolis

Ivo Mosley

Julius Norwilla 

Josifas Parasonis

Jacob Piliansky

Faye Ran

Moss Robeson

Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe

Per Anders Rudling

Kamilė Rupeikaitė

Michael Samaras

Danutė Selčinskaja

Michael Shafir

Anna Shepherd

Janusz Skolimowski 

Ken Slade

Andres Spokoiny

Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė

Birutė Ušinskaitė

Rūta Vanagaitė

Geoff Vasil

Nida Vasiliauskaitė

Tomas Venclova

Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson

Arkadijus Vinokuras

Aleksandras Vitkus

Gert Weisskirchen

Olga Zabludoff

Lina Žigelytė

Markas Zingeris

Efraim Zuroff

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