Collected here are images of Keidaners who survived the Holocaust, made in the following decades. Not many such images exist, particularly those clear enough to allow easy identification. The photographs were taken mainly between 1957 and 1965, with a few taken later. I remember visiting the mass grave on Sunday, August 29, 1971 (our last August in Lithuania, before receiving permission to emigrate to Israel), but couldn’t find any photographs from that day (probably all our thoughts at that time were already concentrated on leaving the Soviet Union…).
These were the remnants of the Keidan Jewish community – those, who were living in Lithuania on the eve of the Second World War, and succeeded to escape the slaughter of August 28, 1941. Some of them were saved “thanks” to their exile to Siberia, some fell in battle in the ranks of the Red Army, some died on the way of escape or later, from disease or hunger, and some actually succeeded to survive.
Let us remember them all.
As mentioned, we hope to continue the identification process, and appeal to anyone who can provide information to help. On all photographs, captions go left to right. Click on any photo to launch the gallery.
Meetings by the mass grave in Daukšiai village:
1: Early 1950s. Standing: Unidentified elderly woman; Chaim Burshtein; Aryeh (Liova) Ginzburg; Tanya Ginzburg (nee David, Liova’s wife); Unidentified woman with her son; two unidentified men. Sitting: Benjamin Kaplan (probably); Yudel Ronder; unidentified man.
2: Early 1950s: Because of the quality, we could identify few of those here. Yet the photo shows the memorial stone had been installed.
3: Probably 1956: Those we were able to identify: Basya Kaplan, 1st from the left; Liuba Burshtein, 2nd from left; Yakov Dinershul, 4th from left; Abrasha Dinershul (his son, in front of Yakov); Chasya Kaplan (on his right); Guta Kaganaitė – 5th; Moshe Shcherbakov (her husband) behind her; Moshe Upnitsky, on his right; Chaim Burshtein, on his right, behind the stone; Yudel Ronder, on his right, behind the stone; Moshe Shneider (with a casquette), last row, third to the right from Yudel; Lazar Blumberg (to the left of Moshe, only his black hat is seen); Tuvye Shneider – in the last row, on the right of Moshe, his brother; Gurvich’s wife (with the black kerchief); Aba-Yankel Grinberg – in the front row, before the iron rod of the fence; Aharon Rozenberg (Fanya Turetskyte’s son, in a casquette; boy, right of the iron fence; Shmuel Girshovich – on the far right, beyond the wooden fence of the grave.
4: Probably 1957. Left lower row: Unidentified man; Guta Kaganaitė; Fanya Turetskytė (in marriage Rozenberg); Pesya (Paulina) Shneider (a daughter of Moshe Shneider, in marriage Yanover); Unidentified man with hat (above Pesya); Unidentified woman (on her right); Abrasha Dinershul (a son of Yakov Dinershul); An unidentified boy (in a school uniform cap), his mother with a kerchief is probably behind him; Chasya Kaplan (a daughter of Benjamin and Basya Kaplan). Middle row: Moshe Shneider (with a casquette); Unidentified woman with a kerchief, probably a mother of the boy in front of her; Basya Dushkes (in marriage Kaplan, a mother of Chasya Kaplan; behind a woman with kerchief, to the right of Moshe Shneider); Two unidentified women on her right; Unidentified woman behind Basya; Above her and a bit to the right – Chaim Ronder (in a hat); Leib Yudel Gurvich; Yudel Ronder; Yakov Dinershul; Unidentified man; Lazar Blumberg; Eliyahu Ginzburg; Two unidentified men; Avigdor Upnitsky (in a hat); Unidentified boy and man in a white hat; Aba-Yankel Grinberg (at the front); Unidentified man (last on the right). Upper row: Chaim Mankovich; Benjamin Kaplan; Moshe Shcherbakov (Guta Kaganaitė’s husband); Chaim Burshtein; Unidentified young woman (probably Chaim’s daughter); Raya Dushkes (in marriage Shapiro, a daughter of Brayna Dushkes); Mulya Kantor; Unidentified man; Tuvya Shneider; Brayna Dushkes.
5: 1958 or 59. Front row: Unidentified man in a black hat (inclined); Unidentified boy on his right; Rosa Burshtein (Chaim Burshtein’s daughter, behind him) ; Unidentified girl on her right; Abrasha Dinershul (Yakov Dinershul’s son); Bella Blumberg (Lazar Blumberg’s daughter); An unidentified sitting man (on a far right) Middle row: Two unidentified women; Unidentified man in a gray hat; Unidentified woman behind him; Unidentified man in a black hat on her left; Guta Kaganaitė (in a kerchief, hardly seen, behind her); Shlomo Kurlianchik on her right (with a casquette); Liuba Burshtein (on Guta’s left); Yudel Ronder (behind Shlomo); Raya Dushkes (in marriage Shapiro, behind Yudel); Two unidentified men. Behind the memorial: Chaim Ronder; Unidentified man and his son behind Chaim; Fanya Turetskytė; Unidentified woman; Yakov Dinershul; Eliyahu Ginzburg (on his right); Avigdor Upnitsky (on Eliyahu’s right); Moshe Upnitsky (on Avigdor’s right); Tanya Turetskytė (in front of Dinershul); Yeta (Yocheved) Blumberg (nee Raykin, Lazar Blumberg’s wife, born in Riga); Lazar Blumberg; Aba-Yankel Grinberg. Upper row, right: Unidentified man (probably Mulya Kantor); Unidentified girl in a kerchief; Unidentified man in a white hat; Kalman Shneider; Tuvya Shneider.
6: Probably 1959: Aba-Yankel Grinberg; An unidentified man behind him; Tuvya Shneider; Benjamin Kaplan; Fanya Turetskytė; Chaim Burshtein; Liuba Burshtein; Yakov Dinershul; Yudel Ronder; Unidentified man behind him; Eliyahu Ginzburg; Avigdor Upnitsky; Guta Kaganaitė; Lazar Blumberg
7: By the memorial at the mass grave (August 28, 1961). Unidentified young man; Unidentified woman (on his right); Unidentified boy and a girl in a white coat; Brayna Dushkes (behind the girl); Probably B.Dushkes’ husband, on her right; Unidentified woman (on Brayna’s left); L.Y.Gurvich with his son in his hands (behind her); Guta Kaganaitė (on his right, behind Brayna’s husband); Leonard (Aryeh) Shcherbakov (her son, behind her); Shlomo Kurlianchik (behind him); Tanya Turetskytė (on his right); Yosef Gadya (behind her); Shraga Secunda (Blumberg wife’s relative, not from Kėdainiai); Unidentified man; Lazar Blumberg; Unidentified man (behind him); Unidentified man (on the right of Blumberg); Moshe Upnitsky (on his right); Feivel Vinitsky (probably); An unidentified man (on his right); Chaim Mankovich (in front of Moshe Upnitsky); Tanya Turetskytė (in front of him); Two unidentified men (on her right); Chaim Ronder; Unidentified man on his right; Unidentified boy in front of him.
8: 1962. Upper far row: Chaim Burshtein; Yakov Dinershul (in a black beret); Tuvya Shneider. Middle row: Leib Goldberg (in white coat); Guta Kaganaitė, on his right; Unidentified man (above Leib, in a black hat); Unidentified man (hidden behind Guta); On his right – Gurvich’s wife; Unidentified man (behind her, in a black beret); Unidentified woman with three big buttons on the coat, to the right of Guta Kaganaitė; Above her – Liuba Burshtein (with kerchief), Chaim Burshtein’s wife; To Liuba’s right – Yeta, Lazar Blumberg’s wife; Behind her – Lazar Blumberg (with a black beret); Behind him – unidentified man (hidden); On his right – Yudel Ronder; On Yudel’s right – Chaim Ronder, he stands in front of Dinershul; Eliyahu Ginzburg; On his right – Kaplan (with a casquette); To the right of Kaplan – Moshe Upnitsky; To the right of Moshe – Avigdor Upnitsky, Moshe’s brother; Above Moshe, inclined – Gurvich; In front of Kaplan and Moshe Upnitsky – two unidentified men; In front of them, two other unidentified men; On their right (and to the left of Avigdor Upnitsky) – Kalman Shneider (with a casquette); To the right of Kalman – Leonard (Aryeh) Shcherbakov (a son of Guta Kaganaitė and Moshe Shcherbakov); In the front row of the right group of people – Simona Upnitsky (in marriage Klein, a daughter of Avigdor Upnitsky); Unidentified man, on her right; far right – Aba-Yankel Grinberg Front row (children): A son of Gurvich; Roza Bursthtein (in marriage Zakroyskaya, a daughter of Chaim and Liuba Burshtein); Lea Ronder (daughter of Yudel Ronder); Bella Blumberg (in marriage Gold, a daughter of Lazar and Yeta Blumberg), stands behind Lea; Paulina Shcherbakov (in marriage Rosenstein, a daughter of Guta Kaganaitė and Moshe Shcherbakov); Unidentified girl; David (Dodik) Goldberg (a son of Leib Goldberg)
9a: 1960s. Because of the nearby military airfield (see next photo), access to the site was complicated, requiring special permits. Soviet authorities did not maintain such sites, and indeed tried to hide them, to make access difficult and whenever possible to eliminate them, as happened to many Jewish cemeteries and mass murder sites across the country.
9b: 1960s. Note the airplanes in the background.
10: 1963. Front row, sitting: Lea Ronder; Unidentified man; Two unidentified girls, elderly woman behind them; L.Y.Gurvich’s son; Abrasha Dinershul; Meir Feinblum and his daughter Yulia. Middle row: Hanna Feinblum (Meir’s wife, born in Gomel); Chaim Ronder; An unidentified woman, a reclining man (probably Feivel Vinitsky) and a boy with glasses, on Chaim’s right; Guta Kaganaitė (in a kerchief, behind them); Unidentified man in a black beret and two unidentified women behind her; Fanya Turetskytė; Unidentified woman (on Fanya’s right); Lazar Blumberg; Eliyahu Ginzburg; Unidentified man; Yosef Gadya; Moshe Upnitsky (on his right); Unidentified man, on his right; Yakov Dinershul (in front of Yosef and Moshe); Brayna Dushkes; Shmuel Girshovich; Two unidentified women on Brayna and Shmuel’s right, also a man with a casquette and a boy in front of him and a young man on his left; Liuba Burshtein (on the far right)
Upper row: L.Y.Gurvich; Feivel Vinitsky (probably); Chaim Burshtein; Unidentified man; Chaim Mankovich; Tolik (Anatoly) Feinblum (Meir Feinblum’s son); Mulya Kantor
11: Around 1964: Unidentified elderly woman; Lea Ronder above her; Unidentified man on her right; Gurvich’s wife; Probably Fanya Turetskytė; Liuba (Meybutė) Tamunaitė (Yudel Ronder’s wife); Unidentified woman; Lazar Blumberg; Unidentified man, above Lazar; Yudel Ronder, on Lazar’s right; Unidentified man; Guta Kaganaitė; Unidentified woman, in front of her; Unidentified man with glasses and in a hat; Yosef Gadya; Unidentified man; Gurvich’s son in front of the memorial.
12: August 29, 1965. Unidentified man; Shmuel Girshovich; Unidentified woman, on his right; Unidentified woman, behind her; Guta Kaganaitė (in a kerchief, on her right); Brayna Dushkes (in a kerchief, on Guta’s right); Unidentified woman, on her right; Avigdor Upnitsky, behind Guta, a bit to the left; Unidentified man in a black hat on his right; Moshe Upnitsky; Chaim Burshtein; Two unidentified women and a man; Chaim Mankovich, above them; Lazar Blumberg; Seven unidentified women in front of him and a man in a black hat; Yakov Dinershul (in front of the memorial)
13: Early 1970s: Shlomo Kurlianchik (hardly seen); Chaim Mankovich’s wife; Chaim Burshtein; Two unidentified men; Ben-Tsiyon Birger (in a black beret); Unidentified man; Liuba Burshtein; Gita Kurlianchik (by the tree, the daughter of Shlomo and Lea-Liza Kurlianchik); Lea-Liza Kurlianchik (nee Fridkovsky, Shlomo’s wife, born in Kapčiamiestis); Unidentified woman; Shmuel Girshovich; Yosef Shneider (behind him); Kalman Shneider (on his right); Unidentified woman, far right
14: Mid-1970s. Those who could be clearly identified: Moshe Shneider, 3rd from left; Shmuel Girshovich 7th from left; Kalman Shneider, 10th from left; Yudel Ronder, 15th from the left; Ben-Tsiyon Birger, 16th from left (3rd from right); Liuba Burshtein, 18th from left (1st from right).
15: August 17, 1980. Left: Moshe Shneider’s wife (Raya?), Kalman Shneider. Right: Ben-Tsiyon Birger, Moshe Shneider, Moshe’s son. Note the inscription stating that “2076 people are buried here.” The number was likely taken from the so-called Jaeger report. Chaim Ronder, the main witness to the event, puts the number at 3,700. The inscription dating the memorial to 1957 appeared between 1975 and 1980, after most Jewish Keidaners had left Lithuania.
Meetings by the mass grave in Babėnai
1958-59: Benjamin Kaplan, Yudel Ronder, Yakov Dinershul and his son Abrasha, Chaim Ronder, Liuba Burshtein and her daughter Roza, Yosef Gadya, Yeta Blumberg, Lazar Blumberg, Two unidentified men, Fanya Turetskytė, An unidentified man in a black hat, Bella Blumberg (a daughter of Lazar and Yeta), Moshe Upnitsky, Aba-Yankel Grinberg
Around 1962: An unknown man, Liuba (Meybutė) Tamunaitė (Yudel’s wife), Lea Ronder (Yudel and Liuba’s daughter), Yudel Ronder, An unidentified man.
1964: Yankel-Berl Vinitsky (lower row, left), unknown woman (lower row, next to him), Lazar Blumberg (upper row, above Vinitsky), Yeta Blumberg (his wife, upper row, on his right), Yudel Ronder (lower row, right), Shmuel Girshovich (on his right), Fanya Turetskytė (upper row, right, above them), Yakov Dinershul (upper row, right, above all).
1967: Upper row left: L.Y.Gurvich, Yeta Blumberg, on his right. Lower row, left: Moshe Shneider, two unidentified men, Yudel Ronder, Lazar Blumberg (below him), Roza Burshtein, on his right. Upper row right: Yosef Gadya (hardly seen), Liuba Burshtein, on his right, Ester (Esya) Dinershul (Yakov’s wife), Brayna Dushkes, an unidentified man. Lower row, right: An unidentified woman, Liuba (Meybutė) Tamunaitė (Yudel’s wife), Two unidentified women.
1960s: Chaim Mankovich (1st from left), his wife (to his right). Right side: Fanya Turetskyte and Chaim Burshtein.
Additional photos taken by the memorials
The field of the slaughter after the war.
Working on the memorial in 1955. (Different date than shown on the stone.)
The memorial installed (1956 or 1957).
1956 or 1957. Left, Lea Ronder; right, Yosef (Osik) Ginzburg, son of Liova Ginzburg. After coming to Israel in 1957, he changed his name to Yossi Ginossar and became one of the prominent figures in the Israel Secret Service (Shin Beth). He was instrumental in peace talks with the Palestinians that led to the 1993 Oslo agreements. He passed away in 2004, age 58. The tragic fate of Liova Ginzburg’s family didn’t end with the Holocaust, which took away his whole family. His grandchild Shachar, the eldest son of Yossi Ginossar was killed in 1991 in Gaza. Accidentally, this tragic incident occurred while the author of these lines was on the active reservist duty in Gaza, just a few hundred meters away from the place. A military doctor of our unit was the first to approach a deadly wounded boy, and I was totally shocked to learn that this was Yossi’s son.
Standing: Chaim Burshtein, Yudel Ronder, Lazar Blumberg, unidentified man. Sitting: Guta Kaganaitė, Fanya Turetskytė, two unidentified women
Standing: David Goldberg, Guta Kaganaitė, Mira (Emma) Goldberg (nee Eskin, Leib’s wife), Leib Goldberg. Sitting: Yudel Ronder.
Y.L.Gurvich (by the memorial). Standing on the right: Shraga Secunda, Guta Kaganaitė, Leonard (Aryeh) Shcherbakov, Lazar Blumberg (1961)
Reuven Lomkin (Berl’s son), Kalman Sneider, Berl Lomkin, Yosef Shneider (Kalman’s son), an unknown woman (in the beginning of 1980s)
Remembering Yudel Ronder
Yudel Ronder in Kaunas, at the memorial by the 9th Fort
Yudel Ronder, Lazar Blumberg, Shraga Secunda at the mass grave in Keidan (August 1961)
Yudel wearing his military decorations.
By Chaim Ronder’s grave at the Aleksotas cemetery in Kaunas (1975)
Yudel and Chaim are buried together (2016)
A meeting in Vilnius, 1968
Keidaners “by birth.” Upper row: Mebel (nee Volpert) Frida, Mebel Pinchas, her husband (behind her); Eliyahu Ginzburg; Moshe Upnitsky; An unidentified man; Leib-Yudel Gurvich; Faivel Vinitsky; Kalman Shneider (above Feivel); An unidentified woman; An unidentified man (behind her, not seen); Avigdor Upnitsky (Moshe’s brother); Yankel-Berl Vinitsky (Faivel’s brother); An unidentified man; Yosef Gadya; Aba-Yankel Grinberg; Middle row: An unidentified man; An unidentified woman, his wife; Yakov Dinershul; Two unidentified women; Fanya Turetskytė; Guta Kaganaitė; Leib Goldberg; Moshe Shneider (Kalman’ cousin). Lower row: Lazar Blumberg ; Chiena (Eva) Shneid (in marriage Krut); Yudel Ronder; Gershon Shneid (Chiena’s brother).
Keidaners with their spouses: Frida Mebel (nee Volpert) Lazar Blumberg; Bella Upnitsky (Moshe Upnitsky’s wife); An unidentified man; Fanya Turetskyte (Tureckytė); An unidentified man (on her right); Avigdor Upnitsky (above him); Fanya Upnitsky (Avigdor Upnitsky’s wife, below him); Guta Kaganaitė; Moshe Shcherbakov (Guta Kaganaitė‘s husband); An unidentified woman; An unidentified man; Moshe Upnitsky; Yosef Gadya; Aba-Yankel Grinberg
Keidaners of the next generation (born after the war): Yona (Yuna) Ginzburg (a daughter of Eliyahu Ginzburg); Yosef Shneider (a son of Kalman Shneider); Gita Mankovich (a daughter of Chaim Mankovich); Masha Kurlianchik (a daughter of Shlomo Kurlianchik); An unidentified young man in the center; Bella Turetskyte (a daughter of Tanya Turetskytė); Aharon Rozenberg (above all) (a son of Fanya Turetskytė); Simona Upnitsky (in marriage Klein, a daughter of Avigdor Upnitsky); Bella Blumberg (in marriage Gold, a daughter of Lazar Blumberg); Moshe Ginzburg (a son of Eliyahu Ginzburg); An unidentified young man; An unidentified girl
Yudel Ronder talks at a meeting of Keidaners: Liuba (Meybutė) Tamunaitė (Yudel Ronder’s wife); Yudel Ronder; Guta Kaganaitė; An unidentified man.