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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus



Published: 2020-09-03


Grigory Shur's notes
Vilna Ghetto, Kailis forced labour camp, 1941–1944
manuscript in Russian, paper, ink, pencil

inventory No. VŽM 4525

The Vilna Ghetto had many chroniclers. The funds of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History contain invaluable diaries from the Vilna Ghetto in several languages - Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian - written by Zelig Kalmanovitch (excerpt), Herman Kruk (excerpts) and Grigory Shur.


The Vilna Ghetto was liquidated on 23 September 1943. In honour of the victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania, a fragment of Grigory Shur's notes is exhibited.
The notes of Grigory Shur (1888 Vilnius - 1944 Stutthof concentration camp) written in the Vilna Ghetto and in the Kailis forced labour camp contain records of the actions of the Nazis in the Vilna Ghetto and the system of massacres in Paneriai. The records are dated, but the date often indicates the time of the event rather than the time when the record was made.
At the time when Shur was imprisoned in the Kailis forced labour camp, his Lithuanian acquaintance, librarian Ona Šimaitė, the rescuer of Jews and their cultural artefacts, hid these notes in the Vilnius University Library. Thus, this chronicle from the Vilna Ghetto has survived to this day.
The diary of Grigory Shur, stored in the funds of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, consists of: 13 notebooks, 1 notepad and over 300 pages of manuscript of various paper sizes.
Prepared by Ilona Murauskaitė, conservationist and researcher of written holdings at VGMJH
© Photograph courtesy of Paulius Račiūnas
From the collections of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
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