Cekiske Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Lithuania
Region
Kaunas County
District
Settlement
Cekiske
Site address
Cekiske Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
55.14773, 23.5258
Perimeter length
234 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. There is some seasonal vegetation on the site.
Number of existing gravestones
around 30.
Date of oldest tombstone
1909 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF.
Date of newest tombstone
1924 (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 oldest tombstone is dated 1909, it can be inferred the cemetery was founded no later than the early 20th century.

It is likely that Jews first settled in Čekiškės (Pl. Czekiszki, Yid. צײַקישאָק) in the late 18th century. In 1887, a fire left 160 Jewish families homeless with only three houses intact. In 1897, the Jewish population was 432, or 65% of the total. In 1915, the Jews were expelled from the town by the retreating Russian army. The expulsion was preceded by a brutal pogrom. According to the first census of independent Lithuania in 1923, Čekiškės had a Jewish population of 324, or 56% of the total. Zionist parties were influential in the interwar period. The Jewish People’s Bank (Folksbank), established in 1920, was one of the first in Lithuania. The community had a brick synagogue and a Yiddish primary school with a library. At the time of the Soviet occupation in 1940, there were about 60 Jewish families in the town. After the German invasion in 1941, all of the Jews were murdered.

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