The Jewish Ghetto of Vilnius
We spent a cold and wet day with
Rachel, touring around the
Jewish Ghetto of Vilnius. Jews have lived in Vilnius
from its earliest times, as merchants and artisans. Initially
they set up shops and houses along the main streets of Vilnius, later
they were restricted to the confines of what was to become the
Town Hall, 18th Century
Town Hall, 2004
Buildings in the Ghetto:
The Nazis actually created two Ghettos: a larger one that held
the Jewish men, who acted as workers, and a smaller one that held their
families, the women, and the older people.
The Great Synagogue of the Vilnius Ghetto is gone now, a Soviet era
building occupies the site.
The height of the buildings in the Ghetto was restricted, so the
inhabitants sometimes expanded the buildings down instead of up,
forming a city below the ground.
First the Nazis, then Soviets, eradicated Jewish life from the Ghetto,
but there are still some traces left.