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Central square in Butrimonys
Central square in Butrimonys
Coat of arms of Butrimonys
Coat of arms
Butrimonys is located in Lithuania
Location in Lithuania
Coordinates: 54°30′10″N 24°15′10″E / 54.50278°N 24.25278°E / 54.50278; 24.25278Coordinates: 54°30′10″N 24°15′10″E / 54.50278°N 24.25278°E / 54.50278; 24.25278
Country  Lithuania
County Alytus County COA.png Alytus County
Municipality Alytus district municipality
Eldership Butrimonys eldership
Capital of Butrimonys eldership
Population (2001)
 • Total 1,126
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Butrimonys is a small town in Alytus County in southern Lithuania. In 2001 it had a population of 1126. Its most famous son was Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), a famous and still influential American art historian. Senda Berenson, known as the Mother of Women's Basketball, was born here March 19, 1868. Berenson introduced basketball to women in 1892 at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, United States, a year after being first invented by James Naismith. She also authored the first Basketball Guide for Women (1901–07).[1]

Butrimonys massacre[edit]

Farewell letter Butrimonys

On 9 September 1941, shortly after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the Jews of Butrimonys were massacred by Einsatzgruppen and Lithuanian collaborators. Rounded up and marched along a road, they were lined up beside a mass grave and machine-gunned. According to the Jäger Report, 740 Jews were murdered in one day: 67 men, 370 women, and 303 children.[2]

What distinguished Butrimonys from hundreds of similar crimes in the Baltic region was the survival of a detailed record left by a local Jew Khone Boyarski. Hiding with his son, Boyarski described the events in a farewell letter to his relatives abroad. Boyarski was later killed by the Nazis; the letter was discovered by accident by a graduate student in the archives of Yad Vashem.[3]


  1. ^ Hult, p. 33
  2. ^ Austin, Ben (1997). "The Einsatzgruppen -- Mobile Killing Units". Middle Tennessee State University. Archived from the original on 2010-06-19. 
  3. ^ Cohen, Nathan (1989). "The Destruction of the Jews of Butrimonys as Described in a Farewell Letter from a Local Jew". Holocaust and Genocide Studies. 4 (3): 357–375. doi:10.1093/hgs/4.3.357. ISSN 1476-7937. 


  • Hult, Joan S.; Trekell, Marianna (1991). A Century of women's basketball : from frailty to final four. Reston, Va: National Association for Girls and Women in Sport. ISBN 9780883144909.