SHAFAQNA – Unknown maybe to most Lithuania witnessed much violence and suffering during World War II, the theatre of many tragedies, injustices and pain.
From 1939 to June 1940 labour camps held people from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita) — Poles, Belarusians, Russians, Jews, Catholic and Orthodox … all were rounded up, all were made to endure the unbearable. Those men and women were viewed by the authorities at the time as dangerous dissidents.
Historians have only recently been able to identify labour camp sites, and thus fully acknowledge the terror which unfold there. It was established that prisoners, mainly Poles, were held in atrocious conditions, many died as a result. The exact death toll is still unknown.
A ceremony will be held this December 3, 2016 in in Podbrodzie, a city located near Vilnius, where most Polish minorities in Lithuania live, to honour the memory of the dead, and pay tribute to the resistance they now represent.
Organised by Polish social movements, the ceremony aims to commemorate yet another place of Polish martyrdom.
Where labour camps once stood, both Catholic and Orthodox memorial crosses will be raised to eternise those whose life were unjustly claimed by the Lithuanian authorities.
The event will see a crowd of over 100 people, among which concerned public groups, activists, public figures, as well as representatives of the media and clergy.
The event will begin on December, 3, 2016 (Saturday) at 3 p.m. and ends at around 5.30 p.m.