A look at the brutal past

Soviet memorabilia from the KGB Museum. Photo by Nathan Greenhalgh/Baltic Reports

VILNIUS — One of the most important thing for a foreigner to see in Eastern Europe are the occupation museums.

Vilnius’s Museum of Genocide Victims, also referred to as the KGB Museum, features a preserved KGB prison for Lithuanian dissidents against the Soviet regime as well as numerous exhibitions detailing the ordeal the country went through during its fifty-year occupation.

Not for the faint of heart, at the museum you’ll walk through real torture chambers and past walls with bullet holes from executions. For full information on visiting, click here.

With the “KGB Museum” photo essay below, Baltic Reports editor Nathan Greenhalgh was trying to capture the feeling of the place in an evocative and non-exploitative way. If you’re in Vilnius, Baltic Reports highly recommends visiting the museum.

The guard room, preserved as it was found in 1990, is the first thing you see in the prison section.

Prison hall

Prison room.

The padded torture chamber.

This bottom of the chamber would be filled with cold water or ice, and prisoners would be kept here for days forced.

Prison shower. Guards would turn the water to scalding hot or frigid cold to "play" with the prisoners.

The solitary confinement room.

Bullet holes from executions of dissidents.

KGB archive photos of Lithuanian freedom fighters killed in the post-war resistance to the occupation.

A prison guardpost. The prison's surroundings were kept under constant surveillance.

The upstairs part of the building was used as the KGB headquarters. In this room, KGB agents listened to secret tapes made of the general public.

Soviet officer uniforms.

A film about the expulsions to Siberia of Lithuanians by the Soviet regime.

Soviet memorabilia.

Bust of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the U.S.S.R.

Bust of Joseph Stalin, under whose rule the Baltic states were forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union.

The wall of the museum, which features the names of Lithuanian dissidents executed inside.

All pictures are protected under by copyright law. Republishing without permission is prohibited by law.

© 2010 Baltic Reports

2 Responses for “A look at the brutal past”

  1. Henk says:

    impressive, everyone visiting Vilnius MUST see this !

  2. Liale Martino says:

    It’s disgusting what the Soviets got away with. And in the U.S. the real story is somehow underplayed or overlooked. This was a massive Holocaust that they executed. I, for one, will never forget.

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