• Memorial at the Site of Mass Shootings on the Road to Kalnėnai
Yurburg (Lithuanian: Jurbarkas) is on the shore of the Neman River in western Lithuania, along the former border with Germany. 1,900 Jews lived here, constituting forty per cent of the population. The city had been part of the Soviet Union since 1940. On 22 June 1941, the German Wehrmacht took the city. The memorial stone on the road to Kalnėnai honours the memory of the Jewish residents of Yurburg who were shot by the SS and their Lithuanian helpers between July and December 1941. After the war, a memorial stone was placed at one of the sites of mass shootings on the road to Kalnėnai.

Image: Yurburg, around 1915, View of »Rossyenni Street«, Lietuvos centrinis valstybės archyvas
Yurburg, around 1915, View of »Rossyenni Street«, Lietuvos centrinis valstybės archyvas

Image: Yurburg, no date given, Monument at the site of mass shootings on the road to Kalnėnai, Stiftung Denkmal
Yurburg, no date given, Monument at the site of mass shootings on the road to Kalnėnai, Stiftung Denkmal
On 22 June 1941, the German Wehrmacht occupied Yurburg, which was then situated on the border to the German Reich. At the time, the Jewish community of Yurburg consisted of about 1,900 members. On 1 July 1941, the head of SS-Einsatzgruppe A (mobile killing squad), Dr. Walther Stahlecker, delivered the order to carry out mass shooting operations of Jews in the former German-Lithuanian border region. Two days later, SS members and Lithuanian helpers from Yurburg shot 360 men, mostly Jews. In the night of 1 August, women and children were taken seven kilometres outside the town and shot on the road to Kalnėnai. At the same location, a group of young women was murdered on 8 September.
By December 1941, the Jewish community of Yurburg had been almost completely annihilated.
Image: Yurburg, around 1915, View of »Rossyenni Street«, Lietuvos centrinis valstybės archyvas
Yurburg, around 1915, View of »Rossyenni Street«, Lietuvos centrinis valstybės archyvas

Image: Yurburg, no date given, Monument at the site of mass shootings on the road to Kalnėnai, Stiftung Denkmal
Yurburg, no date given, Monument at the site of mass shootings on the road to Kalnėnai, Stiftung Denkmal
Members of the SS and their Lithuanian helpers murdered almost the entire 1,900 person large Jewish community of Yurburg by December 1941, with few exceptions.
Image: Yurburg, 1941, Column of Jews marching, Valstybinis Vilniaus Gaono žydų muziejus
Yurburg, 1941, Column of Jews marching, Valstybinis Vilniaus Gaono žydų muziejus

After the war, a memorial stone was placed at the site of mass shootings on the road to Kalnėnai.
The simple, small memorial is engraved in Hebrew and Lithuanian: »Here, on 8 September 1941, National Socialists and their local helpers murdered 500 Jews from Yurburg.«
Image: Yurburg, around 2006, Monument at the site of mass shootings on the road to Kalnėnai, Joel Alpert
Yurburg, around 2006, Monument at the site of mass shootings on the road to Kalnėnai, Joel Alpert

Image: Yurburg, no date given, Hebrew and Lithuanian inscription on the memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
Yurburg, no date given, Hebrew and Lithuanian inscription on the memorial, Stiftung Denkmal
Name
Žydų žudynių vieta miške prie Kalnėnų