Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania together with the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum announced an international competition for comprehensive rearrangement of Paneriai Memorial to victims of Holocaust and all victims of Nazism. The deadline for the submission of bids was 20 August 2014, 1:00 pm.
On 20 August 2014, at 1:00 pm, the Commission opened the external envelopes of the bids that were submitted for the competition. As many as 16 projects have been received as a result of the call for bids and they will be displayed at the Tolerance Centre of VGSJM starting with 25 August 2014.
All projects that were submitted anonymously will be evaluated by the Commission for Evaluation. Public discussion of the evaluation outcomes will be held after 23 September 2014. A separate notice on the exact date and time of the public discussion will be given later.
Paneriai Memorial is the biggest Holocaust site in Lithuania in terms of the number of victims who perished there, and is widely known on the international scale. Alongside with the Jews, solders of the Lithuanian Territorial Defence Force, Armia Krajowa, prisoners of war of the Red Army, including those who fought against Nazism, and other victims of the Nazi regime were killed in the forest of Paneriai.
The purpose of the concept for comprehensive rearrangement of Paneriai Memorial to victims of Holocaust and all victims of Nazism is to establish the principles for the rearrangement of Paneriai Memorial and its adaptation for visitors with the aim to best preserve the remaining authentic elements, to keep the recreation of the elements that were destroyed on this killing site to the minimum, and to commemorate all the victims who perished there, including the introduction of measures that would allow preserve the historic memory of the Holocaust in Paneriai for future generations.
PANERIAI: SIXTEEN IDEAS FOR MEMORIAL RECONSTRUCTION
The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum hereby presents to the society sixteen architectural ideas developed by Lithuanian and foreign authors in response to the announced international competition for comprehensive rearrangement of Paneriai Memorial.
Paneriai memorial has been erected to mark the place of the biggest “death plant” founded by the Nazis. During the post-war period, thousands of half-burned and mutilated bodies were unearthed there. It was there that the Nazis were killing mothers and children, old people and random civilians (dolls, combs, and other artefacts were excavated there). The new rearrangement projects, covering also the current buildings of Paneriai Memorial, are meant to mark the biggest site of the Nazi occupation regime in Lithuania and to commemorate thousands of civilians who weren’t subjected to forced labour, but fell victims to barbaric killings. It was impossible to escape from Paneriai and only one heroic attempt of the corps burners’ brigade to escape was a success (their story is told at the current Paneriai Memorial).
Paneriai Memorial is of great relevance for both Lithuania and the rest of the civilised world. First of all, it marks the historic end of a cultural phenomenon known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania. According to the existing data, as many as a hundred thousand people were killed there.The majority of them were of Jewish origin, including those who fought against Nazism, hostages, prisoners of war and other victims of the Nazi regime.
Second, it is one of the biggest sites of the Nazi crimes known as Holocaust by bullets located to the East from the River Nemunas and the River Bug, and not far from yet another similar site in Ukraine called Babij Yar.
Bearing in mind the importance of instigating humanistic values in modern Europe and the rest of the world, it is absolutely important to make sure that Paneriai Memorial leaves an indelible impression on its visitors, irrespective of where they come from. Thus, with the aim to educate the current and future young generations and to turn Paneriai into a centre of educational tourism of European importance, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and the VGSJM announced an international competition for a design concept to comprehensively rearrange the current memorial, which is morally outdated, by placing emphasis on the authentic details found on the site.
We hereby present the submitted projects to the public at large for their review.
Director of VGSJM
Chairman of the Commission for Evaluation of open design concepts for a comprehensive rearrangement of
Paneriai Memorial to victims of the Holocaust and all victims of Nazism