The Museum of Genocide Victims is arguably the darkest in Vilnius. Its bloody history began when this former gymnasium became the headquarters of the Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania in 1941.
It was then re-occupied by the Soviet Secret Police – the KGB – when the Nazis left in 1944. The KGB stayed until 1991 when Lithuania became independent from the Soviet Union.
The museum is divided into two parts – the upper two floors document the Lithuanian partisans’ resistance against the Soviet occupiers, the deportations of Lithuanians to Siberia and day-to-day life in the LTSR. The other part of the museum are the prison cells, and execution and torture chambers in the basement.
Chillingly, the cells are exactly how the KGB officers left them upon leaving Lithuania in 1991.
Those interested in the KGB’s activity in Lithuania should also visit the gardens of the Tuskulėnai manor. Address: Žirmūnų St. 1 F, tel.: +370 5 275 0704, +370 5 275 1223, for more information see www.genocid.lt.
The grounds are where the bodies of those tortured in Vilnius’ interior prison by the the forerunner of the KGB – the NKVD/MGB – were buried between 1944-1947.