This information was sourced directly from the United
States Holocaust Memorial Museum. For further information
please visit: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005173
and Lithuania both claimed Vilna (Vilnius) after World War I. Polish
forces occupied Vilna in 1920, and before the outbreak of World War
II, the city of Vilna was part of northeastern Poland.
Under the terms of the German-Soviet Pact, Vilna, along with the rest
of eastern Poland, was occupied by Soviet forces in late September 1939.
In October 1939, the Soviet Union transferred the Vilna region to Lithuania.
The population of the city was 200,000 at this time, including over
55,000 Jews. In addition, some 12,000-15,000 Jewish refugees from German-occupied
Poland found refuge in the city. Soviet forces occupied Lithuania in
June 1940 and in August 1940 incorporated Vilna, along with the rest
of Lithuania, into the Soviet Union. On June 22, 1941, Germany attacked
Soviet forces in eastern Europe. The German army occupied Vilna on June
24, 1941, the third day after the invasion.