From September 28, 1944 to April 16, 1947, in the KGB (NKGB–MGB) inner prison, in Vilnius (Aukų Str. 2A), according to sentences of USSR military tribunals and special councils, death sentences were executed to 767 persons (another 7 died before the execution of a death sentence). Most of them (613 people) were accused and sentenced under Article 58 of the RSFSR Criminal Code “High Treason”. Death penalties were executed by a special group formed of Department A of the KGB (NKGB–MGB) staff. After the executions, victim corpses were buried secretly in the mass graves of the former Tuskulėnai manor territory. Pits were excavated in advance, some of them being used even several times. In such cases, after throwing the victim corpses, pits were filled with lime, Diesel fuel and covered with a layer of tar-paper, and victims of later executions were thrown on top. The Tuskulėnai mass grave was used until the spring of 1947, when by Order of 26 May 1947 of the USSR Supreme Soviet, a death sentence was commuted to 25 years of imprisonment, suspending its execution until 1950.
The Tuskulėnai victims included 206 participants in the resistance, 43 participants in the 1941 June Uprising, 32 fighters of the Polish Armia Krajowa and others. In 1944, 45 were killed, 479 in 1945, 185 in 1946, 58 in 1947. The days with the largest number of executions carried out are March 2, 1945 (42 people) and March 21, 1945 (45 people). People of different nationalities were killed: 559 Lithuanians, 56 Russians, 52 Poles, 38 Germans, 32 Belarusians, 18 Latvians, nine Ukrainians, three Jews, and one Estonian, Uzbek, Tartar, Osetin, Chuvash, Armenian and Udmurt each.
In 1994–1996 and in 2003, archeological excavations and works for exhumation of remains were conducted on the Tuskulėnai Part territory. They were headed and carried out by Prof. Antanas Garmus, Dr. habil. Vytautas Urbanavičius, Prof. Rimantas Jankauskas and Assoc.-Prof Dr. Arūnas Barkus. During excavations, 724 remains were found. The experts succeeded in identifying the remains of 49 victims (2009 data). Among them – the remains of Bishop Vincentas Borisevičius and of the armed resistance leaders Jonas Semaška and Leonas Taunys.
After the performance of archeological and anthropological investigation of the graves and of the remains of victims, a project of a chapel-columbarium, their eternal place of repose, was devised. It was produced by architects Vytautas Edmundas Čekanauskas and Algirdas Umbrasas, architect restorer Lina Masliukienė, sculptor Gediminas Karalius, painter monumentalist Gitenis Umbrasas. A technical project was prepared and its implemention supervised by architects Marius Šaliamoras and Jūras Balkevičius. The Tuskulėnai Peace Park was created and buildings were restored by SE “Lietuvos paminklai”.
The project authors chose the structure in the form of a burial mound, where the remains excavated in Tuskulėnai were reburied during the All Saints’ Day in 2004. Here the remains of 717 people in similar urns-boxes, placed into crypts, were buried; the remains of another seven persons were passed over to the relatives, the Telšiai diocese.
In 2009, the chapel-columbarium was decorated with the artwork – the arched mosaic “Trinity”, symbolizing Fate, Happiness and Freedom. Its author is artist monumentalist G. Umbrasas. An artwork, made of white and yellow gold pieces and coloured glass, is designed to commemorate the victims of the Soviet regime. It depicts the intersection of the wings of three birds – hawk, owl and swan.
The monograph “Tuskulėnai: The Victims of Executions and Their Executioners (1944-1947)” by Severinas Vaitiekus, published in 2002, pays tribute to the memory of victims. The names of the participants in the resistance are chiselled on the plinth of the former KGB (NKGB—MGB) building. An exposition is staged in the execution chamber housed in the Museum of Genocide Victims.
All those willing to visit the chapel-columbarium and pay tribute to the victims of execution on working or free days, please contact on working days the administration of the memorial complex of the Tuskulėnai Peace Park or call by phone.
Our address: Žirmūnų str. 1F, Vilnius
Tel.: +370 5 275 0704, +370 5 275 1223, +370 5 275 2547.
Internet website: www.genocid.lt/tuskulenai/
The chapel-columbarium of the memorial complex of the Tuskulėnai Peace Park is open for visitors:
Mondays - Tuesdays 9 am to 4 pm
(call +370 5 275 0704, +370 5 275 1223 or directly inquire administrative staff, address Žirmūnų g. 1F)
Wednesdays – Saturdays 9 am to 6 pm
Sundays 10 am to 5 am
(call +370 5 275 2547, +370 5 275 1223 or directly inquire Tuskulėnai White Manor staff, address Žirmūnų g. 1N)