Holocaust in Lithuania
The Holocaust Exhibit provides a short introduction to the history and culture of the once quite populous Jewish people of Lithuania and a more comprehensive treatment of their destruction during World War II. Exhibit is housed in the Green House on Pamėnkalnio treet in Vilnius, a part of the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum.
The Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum was established in 1990. Its function is to collect, conserve, study and exhibit the material, historical and spiritual cultural heritage of Lithuanian Jews, traditional and contemporary Jewish art and documents and objects connected with the Holocaust. The main items from the museum collection are: objects of an historical value, ritual equipment, manuscripts, photographs, figurative and decorative artworks, the Jacques Lipschitz memorial collection and the Josifas Šapira archive. The museum is made up of several branches, including the Holocaust Exhibit, the Tolerance Centre, the Paneriai Memorial Museum, and the Jacques Lipschitz Jewish Museum in Druskininkai, plus a planned future Litvak Culture and Art Centre.
The Green House, the house housing the Holocaust Exhibit, hosted the first underground Lithuanian Communist congress back in 1918. From 1968 until 1990, the house was home to a branch of the Museum of the Revolution. After Lithuanian independence the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum was established here, in 1991. The Holocaust Exhibit at the Green House was the first such exhibit in Lithuania and the Baltic states. The founders of the Holocaust Exhibit were themselves Holocaust survivors, and include Rachel Margolis, Dmitri Gelpern, Rocha Kostanian, Eugenija Biber, Genrich Agranovski and Fania Brancovskaja.