The tour started out the morning with a quick tour of the Slobodka
Memorial to the Jews of the Slobodka ghetto.
Then we were given a tour of the infamous Fort IX, which sounds like an
inspiration for the movie The Great Escape:
The Russians had built a series of forts around Kaunas; the Nazis
converted them into slaughterhouses. The Nazis didn't dispose of
the remains themselves, they forced a number of Jews to do it for
them. The prisoners of Fort IX organized an
incredible escape, duping their guards in the process. I don't
remember all of the details but the gist of it that the prisoners found
a way to get out of their cells and planned an escape route.
The escapees could be spotted in one portion of their route, so they
knitted a number of white blankets together to act as a screen -- the
ground was covered in snow, and at night the blankets would not be
The weak point in the escape route.
64 prisoners made it out alive, but only 5 of them survived
(ironically, by sneaking into the ghetto where the inhabitants could
Frescos depicting the tragedy of Jewish life in Kaunas
Cool creepy tunnels:
View of the fort's perimeter from a fortified guard tower.
View of Kaunas from a prisoner's
Entrance to Fort IX
Memorial to the victims of Fort IX, in Lithuanian, Yiddish, Hebrew,
English and Russian:
"This is the place where Nazis and
their assistants killed more than 30000 Jews from Lithuania and other
A very large memorial.