In 2014–2015, the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania has implemented the project “House of Death 1939–1955. News of a Resurrected Memory” (REMEMOR) financed under Action 4 “Active European Remembrance” of the programme “Europe for Citizens”.
The project was implemented from 1 January 2014 to 30 June 2015.
The years of World War II and the repressions of the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes are marked with blood and death symbols in the memory of Europeans. It is therefore no coincidence that the expression “house of death” was also used to describe the Nazi camps for prisoners of war established at the beginning of WW II, as well as the Soviet camp for prisoners of war and the Gulag unit that operated in Lithuania, in the village of Macikai, Šilutė County. People of different nationalities – Americans, Canadians, Belgians, Britons, French, Germans, Lithuanians, Poles, Russians, and others – were imprisoned here. Most of them died as a result of the atrocious experience and were buried in the vicinity. This memorial site evidences the cruelty and inhumanity of both the Nazi and Soviet repressions. The project was aimed at preserving the memory of those who were imprisoned and died in the Nazi and Soviet camps in the surroundings of Macikai.
The main objective of the project was to preserve the site where the repressions and executions of European citizens were committed by the totalitarian regimes, to commemorate the victims, and to disseminate information about the tragic events internationally.
Implementation of the project involved comprehensive archival and archaeological research, based on which publications in Lithuanian and English “Macikai House of Death. The WW II prisoner of war and Gulag camps 1939–1955 in the environs of Šilutė”, a website, a tourist route, and a billboard dedicated to the Nazi and Soviet camps that operated in the village of Macikai were prepared and launched. The final stage of the project featured an international scientific conference “World War II prisoners in the Nazi and Soviet camps in 1939–1948” in Šilutė, as well as a ceremony in the village of Macikai to commemorate the victims. Recordings of the conference and victims commemoration ceremony were released on DVDs.
The project was organised by the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania.
Šilutė District Municipality Administration (Lithuania),
Šilutė Museum (Lithuania),
Šilutė Vydūnas Gymnasium (Lithuania),
Šilutė Branch of the Association of Poles in Lithuania (Lithuania),
Macikai Social Care Home (Lithuania),
Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk (Poland).
Project website: www.rememor.eu