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The secrets of Tuskulėnai manor

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The history of Tuskulėnai Manor is closely connected with the dramatic events of the mid-20th century, although it reaches the time when in the 17th century bricks were fired in the kilns there for the Church of St Peter and St Paul, and in the mid-19th century Vilnius intellectuals used to gather in the manors mansion.

Between 1944 and 1947, people, executed in the Vilnius environs and NKGB (MGB) prison, were secretly buried: fighters of the anti-Soviet-resistance movement and their leaders, priests and others who did not comply with the Soviet totalitarian regime.

On 28 September 2011, the exposition “The Secrets of Tuskulėnai Manor” was officially opened in the basement of the White Mansion. The exposition illustrates how in 1944–1947 the repressive agencies – military tribunals and the NKGB (MGB) – murdered the people, who were sentenced to death. On display are the biographical facts of the people executed in the NKGB (MGB) prison in Vilnius and documents of the criminal proceedings. Visitors will learn about the most important executioners and how people sentenced to death were murdered.

Part of the exposition is devoted to the history of Tuskulėnai Manor. Archaeological findings from the 16th–19th centuries, and a kiln for firing building materials from the second half of the 17th century, are displayed.

Exposition technical project by Darius Baliukevičius
Exposition work project by Baldų sistemos UAB
Graphic design by Skirmantė Vaitkevičiūtė, Ekspozicijų sistemos UAB
Exposition installed by Baldų sistemos UAB

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I. Tuskulėnai in the 16th–21st centuries

Archaeological findings and iconographic material illustrate the history of Tuskulėnai Manor. A reconstructed 17th century kiln for firing building materials is on display.

The exposition covers the history of Tuskulėnai Manor from the 16th century until present days. The conserved and partly reconstructed 17th century kiln for firing building materials is displayed, and the visualisation of its reconstruction given. In the showcases archaeological findings are exhibited: bricks, roofing and stove tiles, and various everyday items from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Interactive modern technologies allow demonstrating old written sources, drawings, photographs, plans of land and buildings. Visitors playing the interactive game “Hands can create, and hands can destroy” can make a drawing on sand and see it on www.tuskulenumemorialas.lt.

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II. Mass grave in Tuskulėnai

The exhibits include documents that disclose the process of sentencing to death passed by the courts of the Soviet occupation regime, and efforts to hide the places where the murdered people were buried. Archaeological findings and personal belongings of the murdered people given by their families are exhibited.

The process of sentencing to death by the totalitarian Soviet regime is illustrated: from the sentence passed by the military tribunal to execution in the NKGB (MGB) prison and burial on the territory of Tuskulėnai Manor. In 1944, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. Just like during the first occupation (1940–1941) the Soviets continued mass reprisals against people. The main executioners were the military tribunals and Soviet security agencies NKGB (MGB). From September 1944 the executions of the fighters of the armed anti-Soviet resistance, members of underground organisations and their supporters, farmers, teachers, members of the intelligentsia and the clergy started at the NKGB (MGB) prison in Vilnius. Until the spring of 1947, when the death penalty in the Soviet Union was abolished, 767 executions were carried out there. Their bodies were buried in Tuskulėnai. This process is revealed by the facsimiles of the documents of the NKGB (MGB) and military tribunals on display. Interactive modern technologies give facts about the people executed. Findings discovered during archaeological research of the graves and personal belongings given by their families are exhibited.

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III. Bishop Vincentas Borisevičius

The spiritual strength of Bishop Vincentas Borisevičius in the face of the brutal totalitarian Soviet regime is revealed. Archival documents form the bishop’s criminal proceedings, liturgical garments, personal belongings and photographs are exhibited.

On 18 November 1946, Bishop of Telšiai Vincentas Borisevičius was executed at the NKGB (MGB) prison in Vilnius, and his remains were buried on the territory of Tuskulėnai Manor. The bishop’s personality symbolises his spiritual strength, his true faith and devotion to humanist ideals in the face of the brutal Soviet regime. The bishop’s liturgical vestments, documents of the NKGB (MGB) criminal proceedings, his biography, photographs and archival shots from the film of the re-internment of the bishop’s remains are on display.

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IV. How capital sentences were carried out in 1944–1947

The exhibition illustrates the brutal ways of executing the sentenced to death. Archival documents with information about the executioners and their awards for “efficient service” are exhibited.

Information about the officers of the Soviet repressive structures who organized and carried out the executions at the NKGB (MGB) prison in Vilnius between 1944 and 1947 is provided. Professional killers, who were faithful to the totalitarian regime were chosen. Their biographies, few surviving archival documents about their service and careers with the NKGB (MGB), awards for “efficient service” are displayed. The information based on the studies of forensic anthropology experts reveals the ways how people sentenced to death were murdered. According to the RSFSR Penal Code, the death penalty had to be carried out by shooting; however, some of the sentenced people were killed not by shooting but murdered with metal things or other tools.

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Admission to the museum exposition “The Secrets of Tuskulėnai Manor”
(Baltasis dvarelis, Žirmūnų g. 1N):

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday 10:00–18:00
Thursday 10:00–18:00
Friday 10:00–18:00
Saturday 10:00–18:00
Sunday 10:00–17:00

Regarding the exposition visit, a prior agreement of visitors with the administration is temporarily required.

Guided tours are booked and conducted at the opening hours
E-mail ekspozicija.tuskulenai@genocid.lt

The museum is closed for public holidays, except February 16 and March 11. On the eve of public holidays the museum’s working day is shorter by one hour.