Encyclopedia

Kalis

a small labor camp located outside of the Vilna ghetto. It housed about 1250 workers and their families.

The camp resembled a ghetto more than a concentration camp in that families were not separated and the clothing was ordinary. The workers were engaged in making fur garments for the German army. This involved re-manufacturing confiscated civilian fur coats into winter uniforms.

On March 27, 1944, a deportation (Aktion; action) involving the children took place. It was said that the children were to be taken to a clinic near the camp to receive anti-typhoid shots. Some of the mothers went with their children to the "vaccinations." Martin Weiss arrived at the clinic, grabbed the children and loaded them onto trucks. The mothers resisted and several of them were put on the trucks also. One woman who shouted "Murderer" to Weiss was shot on the spot. The children were sent to death camps. With the Soviet army near and the German front collapsing, the inmates of Kalis were taken to Ponary and murdered or sent to other camps further west.


Sources: Encyclopedia of the Holocaust; Arad, Ghetto in Flames.


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