Vilna Ghetto

They Shall Not Take Us Like Sheep to the Slaughter!
Jewish youth, do not be led astray. Of the 80,000 Jews in the “Jerusalem of Lithuania” [Vilna] only 20,000 have remained. Before our eyes they tore from us our parents, our brothers and sisters. Where are the hundreds of men who were taken away for work by the Lithuanian “snatchers”? Where are the naked women and children who were taken from us in the night of terror of the provokatzia?
Where are the Jews [who were taken away on] the Day of Atonement?
Where are our brothers from the second ghetto?
All those who were taken away from the ghetto never came back.
All the roads of the Gestapo lead to Ponary.
And Ponary is death!
Doubters! Cast off all illusions. Your children, your husbands, and your wives are no longer alive.
Ponary is not a camp—all are shot there.
Hitler aims to destroy all the Jews of Europe. The Jews of Lithuania are fated to be the first in line.
Let us not go as sheep to slaughter!
It is true that we are weak and defenseless, but resistance is the only reply to the enemy!
Brothers! It is better to fall as free fighters than to live by the grace of the murderers.
Resist! To the last breath.
January 1, 1942, Vilna Ghetto.

Abba Kovner

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