Girkalnis Jewish Cemetery
The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment could not be determined. The only legible matzeva found was dated from the first half of the 20th century, meaning it can be inferred the cemetery was already in use by then.
Girkalnis (Pl. Girtakol, Yid. גירטעגאָלע) had a Jewish population of 530, or 82% of the total, in 1897. The community had a beit-midrash. During the period of Lithuanian independence, the number of Jews fell steadily. Zionists were active until the Soviet occupation in 1940. When WWII began, 27 Jewish families remained in the town. After the German invasion in 1941, Lithuanian nationalists desecrated the synagogue and beat the rabbi. In August, the Jews were incarcerated for a week without food and then shot.