During the first weeks of the Nazi occupation (June 27-August 14, 1941), former Soviet officials of various nationalities, communists, and communist youth were arrested and shot. The first arrests of Rokiškis jews were made on June 29. Arrested Soviet activists and Jews were transported in small groups to Steponiai forest (about 5 km from Rokiškis) and shot there. Approximately on 8 July, 1941 108 jewish youths between the ages of 14 and 30 were selected and told they would be taken to work in Biržai. However, all the detained young people were driven to the Steponiai forest in the same day and shot at night.
The monument erected at the place of the post-war shooting says: “981 victims of fascist terror are buried here”. Among the victims were 493 Jews, 432 Russians and 56 Lithuanians. This number of victims is based on the report of K. Jäger, the head of the German security police. True, this report does not refer to Steponiai forest, but to Rokiškis. It is possible that this number of victims represents the total number of victims killed in Rokiškis district (not only in Steponiai forest) up to 14 August, 1941.
How to find?
Drive from Rokiškis towards Čedasai (road 3604). Steponiai village is about 3 km Rokiškis. Turn right behind the first homestead and take the road into the woods. In the woods, focus on the main road. After turning left, drive for about 300 m and turn left again. There is a sign at the turn prohibiting the grass burning. After 20 m you will see a monument.