In Vilnius, the hillside Užupis cemetery, the final resting place of some 70,000 people, was demolished under Soviet rule in the 1960s and basically used as a quarry for building material….Many of the gravestones were used to construct a stairway leading up to the city’s trade union headquarters. These stones were removed in the 1990s and returned to the Jewish community; some of them were used to construct the monument dedicated in 2004 that now marks the site of the cemetery.
Dovid Katz and Richard Schofield have documented how Jewish gravestones from the destroyed Jewish cemetery of Užupis were used in the construction of a middle school built in the 1970s. Schofield has provided a detailed photo documentation of the stones.
The school grounds’ outside walls comprised of the pilfered Jewish gravestones have nothing to do with the structure of the school’s building and removing the stones and finding a culturally respectful home for them would not touch the school building with so much as a hair.
Moreover, the walls made from the stones extend well beyond the school’s grounds to surrounding parts of Lazdynai, where a large supply of Jewish gravestones were brought from the cemetery site after the city’s Soviet-era administration destroyed the cemetery.
Read the article and see the pictures HERE
Samuel Gruber has written a thoughtful piece about this on his blog.