Gaure Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Lithuania
Region
Taurage
District
Tauragė
Settlement
Gaurė
Site address
The cemetery is located behind the Tauragė district Gaurė secondary school, which is located at 17, Gaurės street/4, Gėlių street.
GPS coordinates
55.24186, 22.47139
Perimeter length
55 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
The memorial area is fenced with a low concrete fence from the side of the road. On the other side there are school buildings.
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The original area of the cemetery has been overbuilt and likely had a perimeter of 270m stretching northwest. The cemetery has been demolished and overbuilt with a secondary school. A small area with an arch and a monument in memory of the former cemetery is guarded near the school.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved.
Date of oldest tombstone
N/A
Date of newest tombstone
N/A
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
There is memorial dedicated to the former cemetery.
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

Gaure (Gavre in Yiddish) is a village 8 miles east of the district capital Taurage. Jews have lived in Gaure since the eighteenth century.Life in the village was simple and similar to other smaller villages in the region. Each family worked a small plot of land, some possessed a cow or goat, and others owned a horse. The community was very small, in 1923 there were only 17 Jewish residents in Gaure. The village had a wooden Beit Midrash which was burnt down during WWII.

A Hebrew Yiddish writer, Nekhemya-Dov Hofman, who published many books about the natural sciences in both Yiddish and Hebrew, was born in Gaure. His book of memoirs was published in 1916 in Capetown, South Africa, it may have been the first Hebrew Yiddish book published in that country.

At the outbreak of war between Germany and the USSR, there were only a few Jewish families in Gaure. They were murdered in the Gryblaukis forest, some 15 miles from Taurage.

During the Soviet times, the old Jewish cemetery was destroyed and a school stadium was built in its place. In the 1990’s, a culture hall and later a collective farm office was built on the site. After independence in 1991 a symbolic cemetery gate and stone to mark the former cemetery were erected with an inscription in Hebrew and Lithuanian: “The old Jewish cemetery. May their memory be eternal”.

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