Gargzdai (Gorzd), Lithuania

  Aerial Photograph of Men's Killing Site

The Jewish men of Gargzdai were shot by the Nazis on June 24, 1941, two days after Germany invaded the Soviet Union.  The shooting and mass burial occurred in a trench only a few yards off the main street, at the western entrance to the town.

The killing site is a mound running in a North-South direction, and is marked by a Memorial, shown here photographed from the west.

See photo of Original Memorial

Because of changes in the area after the war, identification of the site on the 1945 aerial photograph offers additional insight into the location where the killings occurred.
File No. GX2192, Exp. SD157, U.S. National Archives at College Park.   (German Reconnaissance Photo, # 157 (1/16/45)   Green box shows area enlarged below
Karte des Deutschen Reiches, 1921

Red box shows approximate area of photograph at left.

Orange line shows later road to Memel (Klaipeda) as shown in aerial photo, bypassing older dogleg to border and train station.  X's show border between Germany and Russia, both before WWI and at the time of the 1941 invasion.


Enlargement of above photo #157, showing intersection of three major roads: Clockwise from west are the new road to Memel (Klaipeda), the old road to the border, and the road to Kretinga.

New road to Memel (Klaipeda) appeared on a Lithuanian map in 1938.


Aerial photo #157 modified with "unsharp mask" function
of freeware graphics program

mens killing
                    site on 158 men's killing
                    site on aerial # 158
Area of Men's Killing site in Photo # 158
(January 16, 1945)
Comparison with modern aerial shows location of Men's Killing Site, within red rectangle on Aerial #158

killing site in aerial photo

Location of Men's Killing Site from Aerial #158
Image enhanced with Unsharp Mask function

For animation showing the relationship between photos #157 and #158, see here.

For additional current photos of Memorial, click here.

For current map of this site on Wikimapia, click here.
For satellite photo on Google Earth, click here.
Note: Soviet officials exhumed this site and wrote a report dated February 11, 1945. It is unclear whether the German aerial photograph, taken January 16, 1945, was taken before or after the site was disturbed by the exhumation.

Gargzdai main page

Identification of Features on Aerial Photo  |  Aerial Photo of Gargzdai  |  Holocaust

Copyright 2002 - 2020 John S. Jaffer