The Ninth Fort (Lithuanian: Devintas Fortas) is a stronghold in the northern part of Šilainiai elderate, Kaunas, Lithuania. It is a part of the Kaunas Fortress, which was constructed in the late 19th century. During the occupation of Kaunas and the rest of Lithuania by the Soviet Union, the fort was used as a prison and way-station for prisoners being transported to labour camps. After the occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany, the fort was used as a place of execution for Jews, captured Soviets, and others.
At the end of the 19th century the city of Kaunas was fortified and by 1890 was encircled by eight forts and nine gun batteries. Construction of the Ninth Fort (its numerical designation having become its name) began in 1902 and was completed on the eve of World War I. From 1924 on, the Ninth Fort was used as the Kaunas City prison.
During the years of Nazi occupation, the Ninth Fort was put to use as a place of mass murder. Some 45000 to 50000 Jews, most from Kaunas and largely taken from the Kovno Ghetto, were transported to the Ninth Fort and killed by Nazis with the collaboration of Lithuanians in what became known as the Kaunas massacre.
Notable among the victims was Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman of Baranovitch. In addition, Jews from as far as France, Austria and Germany were brought to Kaunas during the course of Nazi occupation and executed in the Ninth Fort. In 1943, the Germans operated special Jewish squads to dig mass graves and burn the remaining corpses. One squad of 62 people managed to escape the fortress on the eve of 1944. That year, as the Soviets moved in, the Germans liquidated the ghetto and what had by then come to be known as the "Fort of Death". The prisoners were dispersed to other camps. After World War II, the Soviets again used the Ninth Fort as a prison for several years. From 1948 to 1958, farm organizations were managed from the Ninth Fort.
In 1958, a museum was established in the Ninth Fort. In 1959, an exhibition was prepared in four cells, telling of the Nazi war crimes carried out in Lithuania. In 1960, the discovery, cataloging, and forensic investigation of local mass murder sites began in an effort to gain knowledge regarding the scope of these crimes.
The Ninth Fort museum contains collections of historical artifacts related both to Soviet atrocities and the Nazi genocide, as well as materials related to the earlier history of Kaunas and Ninth Fort. Most exhibits are labelled in English.
The memorial to the victims of Nazism at the Ninth Fort in Kaunas, Lithuania, was designed by sculptor A. Ambraziunas. Erected in 1984, the monument is 105 feet (32 m) high. The mass burial place of the victims of the massacres carried out in the fort is a grass field, marked by a simple yet frankly worded memorial written in several languages. It reads, "This is the place where Nazis and their assistants killed about 45,000 Jews from Lithuania and other European countries."
On April 11, 2011, the memorial to the victims of Nazism was vandalized — the memorial tombstones were knocked down, and white swastikas were spray-painted on the memorial. On the adjacent sidewalk, the words “Juden raus” (German: Jews Out) were inscribed.
Media related to IX Fort at Wikimedia Commons
Aesica (with the modern name of Great Chesters) was a Roman fort, one and a half miles north of the small town of Haltwhistle in Northumberland, England.
It was the ninth fort on Hadrian's Wall, between Vercovicium (Housesteads) to the east and Magnis (Carvoran) to the west. Its purpose was to guard the Caw Gap, where the Haltwhistle Burn crosses the Wall. The B6318 Military Road passes about half a mile to the south of the fort.Drohobycz Ghetto
Drohobycz Ghetto or Drohobych Ghetto was a Nazi ghetto in the city of Drohobych in Western Ukraine during World War II. The ghetto was liquidated mainly between February and November 1942, when most Jews were deported to the Belzec extermination camp.Gas van
A gas van or gas wagon (Russian: душегубка (dushegubka); German: Gaswagen) was a vehicle reequipped as a mobile gas chamber. The gas van was invented in the Soviet Union in 1936, by Isay Berg, the head of the administrative and economic department of the NKVD of Moscow Oblast. The vehicle had an air-tight compartment for the intended victims, into which exhaust fumes were transmitted while the engine was running. The victims were gassed with carbon monoxide, resulting in death by carbon monoxide poisoning and suffocation. The gas van was used by the Soviet secret police in the 1930s. During World War II Nazi Germany used gas vans on a large scale as a extermination method to murder inmates of asylums, Romani people, Jews, and prisoners in occupied Poland, Belarus, and Yugoslavia.Helmut Rauca
Helmut Rauca (3 November 1908 – 29 October 1983) was the Holocaust perpetrator instrumental in the murder of more than 10,000 Jews from the Kaunas Ghetto, Lithuania, during World War II. He was a member of Einsatzgruppe A in the rank of Hauptscharführer (master sergeant). As the Gestapo Jewish Affairs Specialist, Rauca was responsible for the selection of about one-third of the Ghetto inmates including men, women, and children, to be killed during the Große Aktion known as the Kaunas massacre of October 29, 1941 perpetrated at the remote Ninth Fort on the outskirts of Kaunas.After the war, Rauca emigrated to Canada legally in 1950. He had become a Canadian citizen in 1956 under his own name and embarked on a successful business career. At the age of seventy-three, he was charged by the Canadian authorities with aiding and abetting in the murder of 10,500 persons forty-three years earlier, in Kaunas.Humbert Achamer-Pifrader
Humbert Achamer-Pifrader (21 November 1900 – 25 April 1945) was an Austrian jurist, who was member of the SS of Nazi Germany. He was commander of Einsatzgruppe A from September 1942 to September 1943.Jäger Report
The so-called Jäger Report, also Jaeger Report (full title: Complete tabulation of executions carried out in the Einsatzkommando 3 zone up to December 1, 1941) was written on 1 December 1941 by Karl Jäger, commander of Einsatzkommando 3 (EK 3), a killing unit of Einsatzgruppe A which was attached to Army Group North during the Operation Barbarossa. It is the most detailed and precise surviving chronicle of the activities of one individual Einsatzkommando, and a key record documenting the Holocaust in Lithuania as well as in Latvia and Belarus.Kalevi-Liiva
Kalevi-Liiva are sand dunes in Jõelähtme Parish in Harju County, Estonia. The site is located near the Baltic coast, north of the Jägala village and the former Jägala concentration camp. It is best known as the execution site of at least 6,000 Jewish and Roma Holocaust victims.Karl Jäger
Karl Jäger (20 September 1888 – 22 June 1959) was a Swiss-born German mid-ranking official in the SS of Nazi Germany and Einsatzkommando leader who perpetrated acts of genocide during the Holocaust.Kaunas Fortress
Kaunas Fortress (Lithuanian: Kauno tvirtovė, Russian: Кοвенская крепость) is the remains of a fortress complex in Kaunas, Lithuania. It was constructed and renovated between 1882 and 1915 to protect the Russian Empire's western borders, and was designated a "first-class" fortress in 1887. During World War I, the complex was the largest defensive structure in the entire state, occupying 65 km2 (25 sq mi).The fortress was battle-tested in 1915 when Germany attacked the Russian Empire, and withstood eleven days of assault before capture. After World War I, the fortress' military importance declined as advances in weaponry rendered it increasingly obsolete. It was used by various civil institutions and as a garrison.During World War II, parts of the fortress complex were used by the Nazi Germany for detention, interrogation, and execution. About 50,000 people were executed there, including more than 30,000 victims of the Holocaust. Some sections have since been restored; the Ninth Fort houses a museum and memorial devoted to the victims of wartime mass executions. The complex is the most complete remaining example of a Russian Empire fortress.Kaunas massacre of October 29, 1941
The Kaunas massacre of October 29, 1941 also known as the Great Action was the largest mass murder of Lithuanian Jews.By the order of SS-Standartenführer Karl Jäger and SS-Rottenführer Helmut Rauca, the Sonderkommando under the leadership of SS-Obersturmführer Joachim Hamann, and 8 to 10 men from Einsatzkommando 3, murdered 2,007 Jewish men, 2,920 women, and 4,273 children in a single day at the Ninth Fort, Kaunas, Lithuania.The Nazis destroyed the small ghetto on October 4, 1941, and killed almost all of its inhabitants at the Ninth Fort. Later that same month, on October 28, SS-Rottenführer Helmut Rauca of the Kaunas Gestapo (secret state police) conducted the selection in the Kaunas Ghetto. All ghetto inhabitants were forced to assemble in the central square of the ghetto. Rauca selected 9,200 Jewish men, women, and children, about one-third of the ghetto's population. The next day, October 29, all of these people were shot at the Ninth Fort in huge pits dug in advance.Kaunas pogrom
The Kaunas pogrom was a massacre of Jewish people living in Kaunas, Lithuania that took place on June 25–29, 1941 – the first days of the Operation Barbarossa and of Nazi occupation of Lithuania. The most infamous incident occurred in the Lietūkis garage, where several dozen Jewish men were publicly tortured and executed on June 27, most of them killed by a single club-wielding assailant nicknamed the "Death Dealer." After June, systematic executions took place at various forts of the Kaunas Fortress, especially the Seventh and Ninth Fort.Korherr Report
The Korherr Report is a 16-page document on the progress of the Holocaust in German-controlled Europe. It was delivered to Heinrich Himmler in January 1943 by the chief inspector of the statistical bureau of the SS and professional statistician Dr Richard Korherr under the title die Endlösung der Judenfrage, in English the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Korherr, commissioned by Himmler calculated that, from 1937 to December 1942, the number of Jews in Europe had fallen by 4 million. Between October 1939 and December 31, 1942 (see, page 9 of the Report), 1.274 million Jews had been "processed" at the camps of General Government and 145,000 at the camps in Warthegau (location of Kulmhof).
The decrease of Soviet Russian Jews from the territories overrun in Operation Barbarossa was not included due to lack of statistical data. The summaries came from the RSHA office receiving all SS reports about the so-called "already evacuated" Jews. Their "special treatment" was removed from the document on the request of Himmler who intended to share it with Hitler, and replaced by Korherr with "processed".Kovno Ghetto
The Kovno ghetto was a ghetto established by Nazi Germany to hold the Lithuanian Jews of Kaunas during the Holocaust. At its peak, the Ghetto held 29,000 people, most of whom were later sent to concentration and extermination camps, or were shot at the Ninth Fort. About 500 Jews escaped from work details and directly from the Ghetto, and joined Soviet partisan forces in the distant forests of southeast Lithuania and Belarus.List of museums in Lithuania
This is a list of museums in Lithuania.
Communication History Museum
Historical Presidential Palace, Kaunas
House of the Signatories
Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center
Kaunas Museum for the Blind
Lithuanian Art Museum
Lithuanian Aviation Museum
Lithuanian Road Museum
Lithuanian Museum of Ancient Beekeeping
M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum
Museum of Genocide Victims
Museum of the History of Lithuanian Medicine and Pharmacy
National Museum of Lithuania
Palanga Amber Museum
Povilas Stulga Museum of Lithuanian Folk Instruments
Radziwiłł Palace, Vilnius
Stalag Luft VI
Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum
Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum
Vilnius Castle Complex
Vytautas the Great War Museum
MO MuseumNinth Fort massacres of November 1941
The Ninth Fort massacres of November 1941 were two separate mass shootings of 4,934 German Jews in the Ninth Fort near Kaunas, Lithuania. These were the first systematic mass killings of German Jews during the Holocaust. The question of where these killings fit into the development of the Final Solution is a matter of dispute among historians.Rollkommando Hamann
Rollkommando Hamann (Lithuanian: skrajojantis būrys) was a small mobile unit that committed mass murders of Lithuanian Jews in the countryside in July–October 1941, with a death toll of at least 60,000 Jews. The unit was also responsible for a large number of murders in Latvia from July through August, 1941. At the end of 1941 the destruction of Lithuanian Jewry was effectively accomplished by the Rollkommando in the countryside, by the Ypatingasis būrys in the Ponary massacre, and by the Tautinio Darbo Apsaugos Batalionas in the Ninth Fort in Kaunas. In about six months an estimated 80% of all Lithuanian Jews were killed. The remaining few were spared for use as a labor force and concentrated in urban ghettos, mainly the Vilna and Kaunas Ghettos.Special Prosecution Book-Poland
Special Prosecution Book-Poland (German: Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen, Polish: Specjalna księga Polaków ściganych listem gończym) was the proscription list prepared by the Germans immediately before the onset of war, that identified more than 61,000 members of Polish elites: activists, intelligentsia, scholars, actors, former officers, and prominent others, who were to be interned or shot on the spot upon their identification following the invasion.Wolfgang Birkner
Wolfgang Birkner (27 October 1913 – 24 March 1945) was a German SS functionary with the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer, and the Holocaust perpetrator in World War II. Birkner served as the KdS Warschau (Komandeur der Sicherheitspolizei) in Warsaw following the German invasion of Poland in 1939.
After the German attack on the Soviet forces in eastern Poland during Operation Barbarossa, Birkner and his Einsatzkommando were deployed in the newly-formed Bezirk Bialystok district in the Army Group Centre Rear Area due to reports of alleged Soviet guerrilla activity. Birkner arrived in Białystok from the General Government on 30 June 1941, sent in by the SS Police commander Eberhard Schöngarth on orders from the Reich Main Security Office. As veteran of Einsatzgruppe IV from the Polish Campaign of 1939, Birkner was a specialist in rear security operations.Šilainiai
Šilainiai is an elderate in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas, built as a microdistrict in the 1980s. It is one of the largest elderates in the city, covering 25.33 hectares (62.6 acres), and housing over 70,000 people as of 2006. Eighth and ninth forts of the Kaunas Fortress are located in the elderate.
There are several shopping centers, post offices, drug stores, book shops, Šilainiu hospital, Kaunas Saint Spirit Church and John Paul the blessed II chapel. Near the elderate of Šilainiai the following historical estate remains can be found: Linkuva, Vytėnai and Sargėnai.
Nearby attractions in Kaunas County include Old Town Kaunas, the Ninth Fort, the Rumsiskes Open-Air Museum, Laisvės Alėja (Liberty Boulevard), Akropolis shopping mall, the National M.K. Cirulionis Art Museum, The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Devil's Museum, Kaunas Castle and the Pazaislis Monastery.