Marijampole is a Lithuanian city some 120 km west of Vilnius. According to a German document from 1 September 1941, 5,090 persons were killed there by German Einsatzgruppen units. In the summer of 1996, Marijampole’s city administration decided to erect a Holocaust Memorial on top of the presumed mass graves, whose locations were not exactly known. Archeological explorations at the spot indicated by witnesses initially failed, but a mass grave was eventually found some 100 m farther away. However, since the reason for this exploration was only to locate the grave, no efforts were made to exhume and forensically examine the victims in order to establish their number, their likely identity, or the perpetrators.

In 2008, Lithuanian newspapers reported about a mass grave located beneath the buildings of a former Red-Army barracks, some of it underneath a large, one-meter-thick concrete slab. Excavation was stopped, as it would have required heavy machinery to remove this slab. No efforts were made to exhume and identify any of the bodies found, or who their killers were.

It is unclear whether this site is identical with the one explored in 1996, which was located near an already existing, older memorial. It is hard to believe that the Soviets would have built a military barracks on top of one or more mass graves containing Jewish victims killed by their former enemies. If they did, was their intention to cover up their former enemy’s crimes?

This case highlights a general problem with excavations of mass graves allegedly containing victims of German mass atrocities. The Germans are considered to have killed up to two million civilians in the East, most of them Jews. However, some 20 million civilians were murdered by the Soviets since the Bolshevist Revolution, and a similar number of people are said to have died in the Second World War. Therefore, any mass grave found on the territory of the former Soviet Union is more likely to contain victims of war and Soviet atrocities than victims of German atrocities. It is therefore not at all superfluous to ask for confirmation of the victims’ identity and their likely murderers. But such efforts are rarely if ever made. Today’s Germans are happy to take any blame for anything, and neither money nor fame can be gained by pinning a mass grave onto the Soviets. It is actually a crime in Russia; they have declared illegal any attempts to denigrate the commemoration of the Great Patriotic War.

(For more details, see Mattogno 2022c, pp. 694-699.)

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