Kovno Ghetto


Kovno Ghetto
   The ghetto was located in the Lithuanian city of Kovno (Kaunas). On the eve of World War II, there were approximately 40,000 Jews in a city of 160,000. During the period of Soviet rule from 1940 until the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the rich Jewish cultural life of Kovno was destroyed and hundreds of Jewish families were rounded up by the Soviets and exiled to Siberia.
   On 24 June 1941, the Germans occupied Kovno, but not before bands of Lithuanians set upon Jews in a killing spree. Between June and July 1941, more than 10,000 Jews were killed by Lithuanians and the Germans. The Germans followed the action against the Jews by establishing two ghettos in Slobodka, a suburb of Kovno, with a Judenrat (Jewish Council) appointed to implement German decrees. Thus the Nazis spared from immediate death the lives of approximately 30,000 Jews for the purpose of using them as slave labor. However, the reprieve did not last, inasmuch as the Germans resumed the killing of Jews. In the following two and a half months, more than 12,000 Jews were killed by the Germans.
   Following the German Aktion, the Jews were given a period of respite from the killings, which lasted until March 1944. During this period, however, the Kovno ghetto was converted into a central concentration camp under orders issued by Heinrich Himmler. Jews were now moved to work camps where they endured the most excruciating hardships. In March 1944, the Germans resumed the killings when 1,800 persons, including infants, children, women, and the elderly, were dragged from their homes and murdered. As Soviet troops approached Kovno in July 1944, the Germans decided to transfer the Jews to concentration camps in Germany. About 4,000 Jews were taken to Germany, where they were joined by a number of Kovno Jews who had been held in camps in Estonia. Many Jews, however, refused to be deported to Germany, and as a consequence went into hiding in underground bunkers. The Germans used bloodhounds, smoke grenades, and fire bombs to drive them from their shelters. The result was that approximately 2,000 Jews died as a result of the explosions. Only 90 Jews survived the German attack, and in August 1944 the Red Army liberated Kovno. When the German concentration camps were liberated, nearly 2,000 Jews from Kovno survived. Together with those who went into hiding, the number of Kovno Jews who survived was 8 percent of the original Jewish population of the city.

Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • GHETTO — GHETTO, urban section serving as compulsory residential quarter for Jews. Generally surrounded by a wall shutting it off from the rest of the city, except for one or more gates, the ghetto remained bolted at night. The origin of this term has… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Ghetto Kauen — Das Konzentrationslager (KZ) Kauen entstand aus dem Ghetto Kauen. Dieses wurde im Sommer 1941 von den Nationalsozialisten in der litauischen Stadt Kaunas errichtet, nachdem deutsche Truppen das damals sowjetisch kontrollierte Litauen besetzt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ghetto Kaunas — Das Konzentrationslager (KZ) Kauen entstand aus dem Ghetto Kauen. Dieses wurde im Sommer 1941 von den Nationalsozialisten in der litauischen Stadt Kaunas errichtet, nachdem deutsche Truppen das damals sowjetisch kontrollierte Litauen besetzt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ghetto — Ein Ghetto oder Getto war früher ein bestimmtes Stadtviertel, in dem Juden gezwungen waren, zu leben. Heute bezeichnet der Begriff allgemein Stadtviertel, in denen vorwiegend bestimmte Bevölkerungsgruppen leben, insbesondere soziale Randgruppen.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ghetto —    The first ghetto was established in Venice in 1516 near an iron foundry (Geto). The Jews were forced to live in the area segregated from the rest of the population. Subsequently, the use of ghettos spread to other Italian cities, then made its …   Historical dictionary of the Holocaust

  • Ghetto de Kovno — 54°54′57″N 23°53′18″E / 54.91583, 23.88833 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kovno — Kaunas Kaunas …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kaunas Ghetto — The Kaunas Ghetto (also called the Kovno Ghetto) was a ghetto established by Nazi Germany, with approval by the Lithuanian provisional government, to hold the Jews of the Lithuanian city of Kaunas during the Holocaust. At its peak, the Ghetto… …   Wikipedia

  • Jüdisches Ghetto — Reste der Mauer des Warschauer Ghettos Ein Ghetto oder Getto ist ein Stadtviertel, in dem eine bestimmte, früher meist jüdische, Bevölkerungsgruppe lebt. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Etymologie und Geschichtliches …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Daugavpils Ghetto — Jews in the Daugavpils ghetto, probably in August, 1941 Also known as Dvinsk ghetto, the Citadel, Ghetto Dünaburg Lo …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.