• Monument at Site of Mass Shootings, Pivonija Forest
The monument in Pivonija forest commemorates the Jews from the area of Ukmergė (also Vilkomir), a county town northwest of Vilnius, who were murdered during the Second World War. The memorial stone was erected in 1953, at the site of mass shootings. In the 1970s, Jewish residents of Ukmergė set up a statue in honour of the victims.
Image: Ukmergė, View of the town from the interwar period, Lietuvos Centrinis Valstybės Archyvas
Ukmergė, View of the town from the interwar period, Lietuvos Centrinis Valstybės Archyvas

Image: Ukmergė, 2001, Monument in Pivonija forest, Švietimo kaitos fondas
Ukmergė, 2001, Monument in Pivonija forest, Švietimo kaitos fondas
Ukmergė was a centre of Jewish culture and learning since the 17th century. It was home to numerous synagogues and prayer houses, Jewish schools, clubs and organisations. In 1939, half of the town’s 12,400 inhabitants were members of the Jewish community. Lithuania's occupation by the Soviet Union in 1940 destroyed Jewish life in Ukmergė. After the German Wehrmacht's invasion in 1941, the Eisatzkommando 3 (task force) of SS-Einsatzgruppe A (mobile killing squad) followed and conducted several mass shootings in August and September in the area of Ukmergė. The Jews from the surrounding areas were first herded together in the town. From there, German members of the SS and their Lithuanian helpers took the men, women and children to Pivonija forest in small groups, and shot them there. Around 6,350 Jews from Ukmergė and vicinity perished. The shooting site in Pivonija forest was used until 1943.
Image: Ukmergė, View of the town from the interwar period, Lietuvos Centrinis Valstybės Archyvas
Ukmergė, View of the town from the interwar period, Lietuvos Centrinis Valstybės Archyvas

Image: Ukmergė, 2001, Monument in Pivonija forest, Švietimo kaitos fondas
Ukmergė, 2001, Monument in Pivonija forest, Švietimo kaitos fondas
By their own account, German members of the SS and Lithuanian partisans shot 2,295 Jews, 2,228 Jewesses and 1,825 Jewish children from Ukmergė until the end of September 1941 alone. In all, more than 12,000 Jewish men, women and children were murdered in Pivonija forest until 1943.
Image: Ukmergė, September 2005, Survivors and town residents commemorate the victims of the Holocaust , Loreta Ezerskytė
Ukmergė, September 2005, Survivors and town residents commemorate the victims of the Holocaust , Loreta Ezerskytė
A concrete memorial stone was erected in 1953. Attached to it is an inscribed granite plaque, which was renovated in 1998 and fitted with a Hebrew translation. In addition, a traditional Lithuanian carved wooden statue was installed in the 1970s by Jewish residents of Ukmergė. It depicts a larger-than-life eagle with a helpless person in its claws.
Image: Ukmergė, 2001, Wooden statue in Pivonija forest, Švietimo kaitos fondas
Ukmergė, 2001, Wooden statue in Pivonija forest, Švietimo kaitos fondas

Image: Ukmergė, 2001, Hebrew and Lithuanian inscription on the monument, Švietimo kaitos fondas
Ukmergė, 2001, Hebrew and Lithuanian inscription on the monument, Švietimo kaitos fondas
Name
Žydų žudynių vieta Pivonijos miške
Address
Pivonija forest
20131 Ukmergė
Open
The monument is accessible at all times.