Monument in memory of medical doctor Hilaris Feigus
The monument in memory Hilaris Feigus, a medical doctor, was erected in the year 2000 on the initiative and funding of Rachilė Margolis (1921–2015), a former inmate of the Vilna Ghetto and member of the underground ghetto resistance organisation and long-standing employee of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum. The monument bears a plate with the inscription: ‘HERE RESTS DOCTOR HILARIS FEIGUS (1888–1944), THE ONLY ONE OF THE 100,000 VICTIMS OF PANERIAI WHO HAS HIS OWN GRAVE’.
In his chronicle, Abraham (Avrom) Sutzkever writes that Hilaris Feigus was identified in one of the shooting pits by Solomon Gaul, an escapee of the Paneriai ‘burning brigade’:
Gaul jumps into the pit, inspects the bodies, and tries to guess who they are and where they come from. He tells me that he has recognised people from Kailis and HKP labour camps <…>. Suddenly he is struck by the discovery of Dr Feigus’s body. So indeed, we all have recognised a well-known doctor from Vilna who was shot several weeks before the Red Army entered the city.
(Abraham Sutzkever, From the Vilnius Ghetto)
Little is known about Feigus’s life. It is known that he was married to music teacher Anna Feigus, who taught Ms Margolis in the 1930s. Feigus is known to have been a physician at the Kailis labour camp and was shot in the first days of July 1944, when the prisoners of the Kailis and HKP forced-labour camps were liquidated. Rachilė Margolis’s parents and brother were killed along with Anna and Hilaris Feigus.