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The Vilna ghetto had a significant Jewish resistance movement. A group of Jewish partisans known as the United Partisan Organization (Fareynegte Partizaner Organizatsye; FPO) was formed in 1942 and operated within the ghetto. The resistance created hiding places for weapons and prepared to fight the Germans. In early September 1943, realizing that the Germans intended the final destruction of the ghetto, resistance members skirmished with the Germans, who had entered the ghetto to begin the deportations. The Jewish council, however, agreed to cooperate in the deportations of Jews from the ghetto, hoping to minimize bloodshed. Consequently, the FPO decided to flee to the nearby forests to fight the Germans. Some ghetto fighters escaped the final destruction of the ghetto, leaving through the sewers to join partisans in the Rudninkai and Naroch forests outside the city.

In September 1943, in an attempt to destroy the evidence of the killing of Jews at Ponary, the Germans forced detachments of Jewish laborers to open the mass graves and burn the corpses. Jews from nearby labor camps continued to be killed at Ponary.

During the German occupation, tens of thousands of Jews from Vilna and the surrounding area, as well as Soviet prisoners of war and others suspected of opposing the Germans, were massacred at Ponary. Soviet forces liberated Vilna in July 1944.

(Source: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005173)