Doesn’t it always happen this way? Earlier today I was searching for events that took place on September 8 for a blog I was writing for work, and I came across this:
1941 Sep 8, The entire Jewish community of Meretsch, Lithuania, was exterminated.
An entire community.
My curiosity took me through pages and pages of Holocaust history. Here is some of what I found: (It’s kinda long..)
1941 Jun 22, Second world war began in Lithuania. Lithuania rebelled against Russian occupation.
1941 Jun 24, Entire Jewish male population of Gorzhdy, Lithuania, was exterminated.
1941 Jun 26, Lithuanian fascists massacred 2,300 Jews in Kovno.
1941 Jul 7, Nazis executed 5,000 Jews in Kovno, Lithuania.
1941 Jul 14, 6,000 Lithuanian Jews were exterminated at Viszalsyan Camp.
1941 Jul 24, Nazis massacred the entire Jewish population of Grodz, Lithuania.
1941 Jul 29, All the Jews at Linkuva were killed.
1941 July, In northwestern Lithuania 9,000 Jews were killed by Lithuanian police.
1941 Sep 8, The entire Jewish community of Meretsch, Lithuania was exterminated.
1941 Sep 15, Nazis killed 800 Jewish women at Shkudvil, Lithuania.
1941 Oct 28, In Kaunas (Kovno), about 70 miles from Vilna 9,000 Jews were murdered. 900 French Jews died there on 18 May 1944.
1941 Dec 25, In northwestern Lithuania 400 young Jewish women were killed by Lithuanian police.
1941 At the Rainis Forest in the Telsiai region 74 Lithuanians were killed by Soviet NKVD and KGB troops.
1941 In Lithuania German forces slaughtered some 12,000 Jews in Stoklishki (Alytus).
1941-1944 40,000 Jews are slaughtered in Vilnius, Lithuania. Almost 55,000 Jews were executed at Paneriai, outside of Vilnius.
1942 May 7, A Nazi decree ordered all Jewish pregnant women of Kovno Ghetto executed.
1944 Mar 27, Some 2,000 Jews were murdered in Kaunas, Lithuania.
1945 Jan 30, Nazi SS guards shot down an estimated 4,000 Jewish prisoners on the Baltic coast at Palmnicken, Kaliningrad
And that is only in Lithuania.
July – August 1941: Dozens thousands of Russian Jews are murdered by the Einzatzgruppen (extermination squads) in the occupied territories. Here are some examples:
- 5,200 Jews murdered in Byalistok
- 2,000 Jews murdered in Minsk
- 5,000 Jews murdered in Vilna
- 5,000 Jews murdered in Brest-Litovsk
- 5,000 Jews murdered in Tarnopol
- 3,500 Jews murdered in Zloczow
- 11,000 Jews murdered in Pinsk
- 14,000 Jews murdered in Kamenets Podolsk
- 12,287 Jews murdered in Kishinev
148,000 Jews are murdered in Bessarabia between July and October 1941.
December 8: Chelmno (Kulmhof) extermination camp begins operations: 340,000 Jews, 20,000 Poles and Czechs murdered by April 1943.
March 17: Extermination begins in Belzec; by end of 1942 600,000 Jews murdered.
May: Extermination by gas begins in Sobibor killing center; by October 1943, 250,000 Jews murdered.
Country Estimated Murdered
Soviet Union 1,000,000
It is estimated that the SS and police deported at least 1.3 million people to the Auschwitz complex between 1940 and 1945. Of these, the camp authorities murdered approximately 1.1 million.
My mind cannot begin to wrap around those numbers. Some are as large as a town. A high school. A football game. One million people is more than the city of San Francisco.