Over 100 schools and other educational institutions in Lithuania will on Wednesday take part in the civil initiative Memory Road to commemorate the large Jewish communities annihilated during the Holocaust.
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Organized by the International Commission for Historic Justice, the initiative will involve school children walking to massacre sites on the paths that Jews had to take to their death.

In preparation for the initiative, the students gathered information about Jews who lived in their cities and towns, their customs and traditions, lifestyles and occupations. They will discuss the collected information in memorial events, carrying stones with Jewish names to the massacre sites.

Ronaldas Račinskas, the director of the commission, said it is necessary for school students to see faces in the history of their region.

In Vilnius, the memorial walk took place on Tuesday when 200 school students and their teachers walked a stretch of the road from the Paneriai railway station to the Paneriai Memorial where they participated in a solemn ceremony to commemorate the Holocaust victims.

On September 23, Lithuania observes the Holocaust Memorial Day, witnessing the history of the Vilnius Ghetto that was destroyed on that day in 1943.

Nearly 90 percent of Lithuania's pre-war Jewish population of about 208,000 was annihilated by the Nazis during World War Two, often with the help of local collaborators.

Some 877 Lithuanians have been listed as Righteous Among Nations for rescuing Jews.

According to the 2011 census, about 3,000 Jews live in Lithuania.

BNS
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