In 1940-41 in Ponary near Vilna the Soviet Authorities prepared huge pits for petrol containers which they did not have enough time to put together. During the German occupation Jews, Gypsies, POWs and Nazi opposers were brought to these pits and executed. Somewhere between 70,000 -100,000
people, most of them Jews, were murdered here during World War II. The victims were led through a round passage between building planks for the petrol containers, which had not been assembled yet. When they were brought to the murder site their shirts were lifted to cover their faces, so they would not see where they were going to. Among their guards were Lithuanian collaborators.
Testimonies of German soldiers who watched and photographed the Jews being massaced in Ponary can be seen in the book written by Dressen W and Klee E: Those Were the Days, pp 38-45.
"The Jews were ordered to stand in a line next to each other with their backs towards the shooting machine. The guards moved aside and the order was given..."