Rescuers of Jewish people
The Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Lithuania resulted in the near total destruction of Lithuanian Jews living in the Nazi-controlled Lithuanian and Polish territories. Out of approximately 208,000-210,000 Jews, an estimated 190,000–195,000 were murdered before the end of World War II (wider estimates are sometimes published), most between June and December 1941. More than 95% of Lithuania's Jewish population was massacred over the three-year German occupation — a more complete destruction than befell any other country affected by the Holocaust. Historians attribute this to the massive collaboration in the genocide by the Christian locals, though the reasons for this collaboration are still debated. The Holocaust resulted in the largest-ever loss of life in so short a period of time in the history of Lithuania.
Out of a population of close to 3,000,000 (80% of it ethnic Lithuanians), a few thousands took an active part in the killings while many hundreds risked their lives sheltering the Jews. Israel has recognized 723 Lithuanians as Righteous Among the Nations for risking their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. In addition, many members of the Polish minority in Lithuania also helped to shelter the Jews. Lithuanians and Poles who risked their lives saving Jews were persecuted and often executed by the Nazis.
Objects of the exhibition