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Alternate names: Kybartai [Lith], Kibart [Yid], Kibarty [Pol], Kibarti, Kiborty, Kybart, Kibartz, Kybartų, Kībartā, Kibartay. Russian: Кибартай. קיבאַרט-Yiddish.  54°39' N, 22°45' E, on the border with Kaliningrad oblast, 49 miles WSW of Kaunas (Kovno), 25 miles WNW of Marijampolė (Maryampol), 11 miles W of Vilkaviškis (Wyłkowyszki). 1900 Jewish population: 533.  Yizkor: Sefer HaZikron LeKehillat Kibart Lita (Haifa, 1988). Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), IV, p. 9: "Kibarty". ShtetLink. In the inter-war Soviet rule, a border guard unit of the Red Army arrived in Kibart. These Russian soldiers rushed the shops, buying everything in sight. Even useless goods in the storerooms were sold. At the end of July banks were nationalized and deposits frozen. At first, one could draw 1,000 rubles per month per family; later this sum was reduced to 250 rubles. Industries were nationalized including m Jewish factories. The owners of factories and shops became clerks and salesmen of their own businesses, responsible to commissars who kept the keys and the cash. Without management experience, the former owners had to help them during the year of Soviet rule before WWII. Russian single officers and officers' families of the border guard lived in private apartments in the nicer buildings, where mostly Jewish families lived. Then, the supply of goods dwindled and prices rose. The middle class, mostly Jewish, was badly hurt. [March 2009]

MASS GRAVES: On the eve of WWII, the Jews did not flee because they trusted in the might of the Red Army. They were wrong. On June 22, 1941 from 4-5 a.m., the German army entered Kibart' without real resistance. Only a group of soldiers from the Russian Border Guard fought to the last man in a cellar. The Germans freed all prisoners from jail, among them Lithuanian nationalists who immediately started to organized to exact revenge on the communists and the Jews. During the first days of occupation, the German army took no measures against Jews, even helping Jews retrieve property stolen by Lithuanians with Jewish girls acting as interpreters. Then, their civil rights were taken. The first victims were Jewish communists. The intelligentsia followed. Kibart was situated 25 km from the border with Germany so the Gestapo and Border Guard in Eydtkuhnen were asdetermine the details for the murder of the men in Kibart as an example for the Gestapo man from Eydtkuhnen (Tietz) to follow in the future. (Tietz later committed suicide). The Lithuanian police were to detain the men, assemble them, and act as guards and shooters. At the beginning of July, all Jewish men and boys above age 16 were taken to a barn on the Baldamas farm in the village of Gudkaimis about 6 km north of Kibart. Abused, without food and water for several days, and forced to dig holes in the nearby Peskynes sand quarry, 185 Jews and 15 communist Lithuanians, forced to hand over all their belongings and to strip to underwear, were shot at night at the edge of the pits they had dug. Later, a monument was placed reading:in Yiddish and Lithuanian: "In this place, Jews of Kibart and a group of Lithuanians were murdered by the Nazis and their local helpers." [March 2009]

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 March 2009 20:50
 
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