'the Good Old Days': The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders Objects/Places
Kaunas is a large city in present-day Lithuania and is located at the confluence of two large rivers. Between the world wars Lithuania came under Soviet influence and in 1940 Kaunas was annexed by the Soviet Union. When the Germans arrived in 1941 many citizens greeted them as liberators from Soviet oppression. Public sentiment appears to have been very anti-Semitic with many non-Jews considering the Jews to be instruments of the Soviet State, even though anti-Semitic persecution had been severe during Soviet rule. In June 1941, there were apparently numerous groups of anti-Communist and anti-Semite citizens who spontaneously organized for the purposes of committing genocide. When the Nazis took control they condoned these activities and later organized them on a much larger scale. Kaunas is also known as Kovno.
Einsatzgruppen were German paramilitary death squads, organized under the auspices of the SS. The...