Balbieriskis Jewish Cemetery
The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. According to epigraphic data, the cemetery has existed since at least the latter half of the 19th century.
Jews settled in Balbieriskis (Yid. Balbirishok) in the 17th century, and it was probably one of the earliest Jewish settlements in Lithuania. Balbirishok was one of the 246 settlements in Poland that had no restrictions on Jewish residents In 1861, there were 1167 Jews living there. There were two synagogues, the old and the new, opened in the early 19th century. In 1881, a pogrom was carried out against the Jews of the town. On a regular market day, on the eve of Yom Kippur, farmers raided the Jewish shops. The community numbered 925, or 45% of the total population, in 1897. In the late 19th century the town became an important commercial center. Trade was concentrated in Jewish hands. The only pharmacy was owned by Tsirkovich. By 1923, the Jewish population had declined to 507 Jews. Economic conditions caused further emigration and by WWII the Jewish community numbered about 350 people. Most of the community members were Zionists. The Germans entered the town in late June 1941, with local Lithuanians beating Jews and putting them to forced labor. Jews were forced to march to Prienai, where they were murdered on August 27, 1941. The women and children were sent to Marijampole to meet their end on September 1.