Jewish remains found at Kaunas Fort to be reburied this month

VII Fort in Kaunas

The Lithuanian Jewish Community said on Thursday it had reached an agreement with heritage specialists and Kaunas Heritage Centre that runs the fort. “An agreement that satisfies all the sides [is] to bury the remains in the place they were found by putting an additional layer of soil on the existing ground level.”

The decision to rebury the remains in the same location is based on a Jewish religious-legal provision that remains found in a place were people were killed or buried cannot be moved to another place. Moreover, if the remains were reburied elsewhere, separation problems would arise as the discovered remains are not from an individual but a mass grave of estimated 5,000 people.

“If the mass grave is not covered with an additional layer of soil, the possibility would remain that the remains might be once again discovered above ground level,” the JCL said.

Gercas Zakas, chairman of the Jewish Community in Kaunas, told BNS the reburial ceremony is scheduled for 24 October.

The Nazis, often assisted by local collaborators, killed around 90 percent of the Jewish population of more than 200,000 in Lithuania during WWII.

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