It’s hard to believe that this was less than 80 years ago. Here you can see Lithuanian Jewish women, marked with patches identifying them as Jewish with a large “J”, as they walk on the street through Vilnius. They weren’t allowed to share sidewalks with the other, non-Jewish people. After the German invasion of Lithuania in 1941, the Jewish community was quickly persecuted and nearly destroyed by the German genocide. Out of just over 200,000 Jews living in Lithuania, around 190,000-195,000 were murdered before the end of the war; most of them in a six month period between June and December 1941. It was a near-total destruction of the Jewish community, second to only the genocide in Estonia, which was declared Judenfrei (”free of Jews”) at the end of 1941.
Vilnius, Vilnius County, Lithuania.
25 July 1941.