Commemorations were held for the tens of thousands of Jews, Poles and Russians killed by Nazis in Ponary, Lithuania.
The commemorations began with a mass held at the Holy Spirit church in Vilnius. Flowers were then laid at the symbolic grave of the scout and Home Army partisans.
On September 23, the official Lithuanian commemorations of Holocaust Remembrance Day will be held.
Between 1941 and 1944, German Nazis from the SS, murdered an estimated 70,000 Polish Jews, 20,000 Poles and 8,000 Russians in the village of Ponary (Paneriai in Lithuanian), in present-day Lithuania. The victims were shot, their bodies later burned in an attempt to hide the crime. Before WWII, the village was within Poland’s borders. The SS was helped by some Lithuanian collaborators.