Anyksciai Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Lithuania
Region
Utena
District
Settlement
Site address
Anyksciai Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
55.51818, 25.10194
Perimeter length
322 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is well-maintained. It is located on a slope. There is some seasonal vegetation growth on the site.
Number of existing gravestones
around 100. The inscriptions on many of the tombstones are illegible.
Date of oldest tombstone
1898 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
1907 _(the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
No

Historical overview

Given the earliest tombstone dates to 1898, it can be inferred the cemetery was founded no later than the late 19th century.

Jews first came to the region in the 17th century and some settled in the town of Anykščiai (Yid. Aniksht). In 1704, an envoy from Hevron affiliated with the Shabtai Zvi circle, visited the town. A number of fires occurred at the turn of the 20th century, and the recovery effort spurred the community life to expand greatly in the early 20th century. The Jewish community numbered 2,754 or 70% of the town’s population in 1897. On July 14, 1915, a Russian regiment staged a pogrom in the city. In the 1910s, the General Jewish Labour Bund was prominent and active there and Zionists became active after WWI. During WWI, the city was destroyed and many Jews fled to inner districts of Russia. After the war, some Jews returned, recovering with the help of the Joint Committee. The community members were mainly engaged in trade and crafting. The development of industry after WWI affected the Jews and allowed them to rapidly restore the community. In 1931, Jews owned 26 of 27 stores and 24 of 30 workshops. By the end of the 1930s, in the city there were 6 synagogues, two of them belonging to Hasidim, a Talmud Torah, several heders, a yeshiva, 3 “Tarbut” schools and “Yavne”, an Yiddish school of Kultur-League, a kindergarten, two libraries, and an amateur theater. By 1940, the Jewish population had decreased to about 2000 people. On June 26, 1941, the Germans captured the city. The same day all the Jews were ordered to crowd in a synagogue, where they were tortured. They were kept in a forest outside of the city for weeks without shelter. Between July 28 and August 29, 1941, most Jews were murdered at nearby Liudiskiai, both by the Germans and Lithuanian nationalists. After the war only a few Jews remained in the city. In 1959, 9 were registered, in 1989, there were only 2 Jews. There is no information about Jews in Anykščiai nowadays.

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