US scientists working in Lithuania to specify locations of Jewish graves

Šeduva, Lithuania. Mass grave memorial site.

VILNIUS– A group of scientists headed by archeology professor Richard Freund from the US Hartford University is launching research in Kaunas, Lithuania, to specify the locations of Jewish mass graves.

The professor who last year headed non-invasive geophysical research in Paneriai and the site of the Great Synagogue in Vilnius this time invited specialists from various fields and various US universities. The group will examine forts IV, VII and IX, as well a the Jewish cemetery on the Radvileny highway.

Last year, the Freund-led team of researchers found an escape tunnel in Paneriai, as well as new locations of where Jews were shot to death. After analyzing the remains of the Great Synagogue in Old Town Vilnius, the US scientists pledged to film a documentary and considered a mobile application that would include a map of the Jewish heritage and other sites of importance to the Jewish community.

The tunnel, dug with spoons by Jewish prisoners to escape their Nazi captors during World War II was discovered in a Lithuanian forest.

An international team of archaeologists, geophysicists and historians made the discovery in Lithuania’s Ponar forest, known today as Paneriai, outside the country’s capital Vilnius.

The site is where an estimated 100,000 people, including 70,000 Jews, were killed and thrown into pits during the Nazi occupation.

The tunnel was known about because of the testimonies of 11 Holocaust survivors, but until now only the mouth of the tunnel had been located.

Director of geophysics with Australian engineering company WorleyParsons, Paul Bauman, was part of the team that located the tunnel.

Source: The Baltic Times.

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