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“The forest remembers”
Review of Paneriai (Ponar)

Paneriai (Ponar)
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Day Tour around Vilnius city and Trakai Castle
Ranked #24 of 212 things to do in Vilnius
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Syracuse, New York
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“The forest remembers”
Reviewed November 7, 2008

Take the train from Vilnius to Panerai, cost about a dollar and after getting off the train turn right and walk about a kilometer down to the memorial. There are no signs and the people speak Lithuanian not English. But, there is only one road down and it is parallel to the railroad tracks. The memorial is well laid out and very carefully maintained. It is so quiet and so mysteriously beautiful that I was quite stunned at the horrors that took place there sixty plus years ago. Remains of the pits still remain where Jews and others were shot and then buried by the Nazis and their Lithuanian helpers. The museum mentioned above was closed when I was there in late October. So were the buildings (forts) where the prisoners were temporarily held. Still, I was the only visitor at the time so it doesn't make sense economically to keep these places open. One of the most moving holocaust sites I have ever visited.

16 Thank DonPaulus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“What the trees have seen!”
Reviewed September 22, 2007

Paneriai would be on my "must see" list for Vilnius. It has not gotten easier to find or more well advertised. Unlike the tour bus crowded streets of Old Town, we found ourselves alone and wondering if there was really anything there after leaving the train.
It was an easy train ride and an easy walk to the site itself.... just keep walking down the road in the direction the train is traveling in and you will get there. The museam was actually open and reading the testimony of survivors and townspeople who listened to the shootings and smelled the burnings was terrifying. The pits themselves are haunting. I felt very strongly that no trip to Vilnius would be complete without seeing and attempting to understand this part of it's history. Fully 1/2 of the city of Vilnius was murdered here. Imagine, 1/2 of the city! How is it that this memorial is still so difficult to find? Why aren't all the tour busses visiting it????? If we don't learn from our history, we repeat it over and over.

18 Thank traveliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
“Stunning Holocaust memorial”
Reviewed July 22, 2004

In 1941 the fleeing Red Army left oil storage pits here, 10 km from Vilnius. Over the next few months 100,000 men, women and children, 70,000 Jews, were lined up around the pits and shot, one layer at a time, by the Nazis and their Lithuanian helpers. The pits are still quite visible and the memorial site, in a peaceful forest glade, hauntingly beautiful. The museum was supposed to be open when we were there but it was not. Take a Trakai bound train to Paneriai (the Vilnius tourist office has the times). The trip is about 20 minutes. There are no signs there to the memorial. Exit the station and turn right, walking down the road about 1 km; the road ends at the memorial site.

28 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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