Oral History

Abraham Malnik describes massacre in Kovno's Ninth Fort, near the Kovno ghetto

Abraham came from a wealthy family that was ordered into the Kovno ghetto after the Germans occupied Lithuania in 1941. Abraham's mother urged his father to flee, but he returned for them. Begging for mercy, he was able to save them from a massacre in the Ninth Fort, one of several forts around Kovno. Abraham and his father survived internment in five camps before they were finally liberated in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Abe's mother perished at the Stutthof camp.


And they...they they took the people on the Ninth Fort. They were...they put in bunkers, a hundred at a time...told [they were going to] be stripped in their...to their underwear, and they walked out a hundred at a time and they were machine gunned. For three days...and then they covered them up with dirt. For three days, the graves were moving up and down. They took tractors and ran over the graves in order to squeeze out the last breath. And when the front came closer and the Germans did not want to leave no evidence, they undug the graves and they found mother with children hugged together, by dying, and with parents, with grandmothers. They saw people together. And they burned them all up. We could see from the ghetto. Wasn't far from the ghetto. We could see the flames all the way to the sky.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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