Kavarskas New Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Lithuania
Region
Utena
District
Settlement
Kavarskas
Site address
Kavarskas New Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
55.437413,24.911528
Perimeter length
99 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
Type of the fence
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is well-maintained.
Number of existing gravestones
2
Date of oldest tombstone
1892 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
1905 (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 preserved tombstone dates to 1892, it can be inferred the cemetery was already in use by the late 19th century. In 1960, the cemetery was demolished, and is now a park.

Jews began to settle in Kavarskas (Pl. Kowarsk, Yid. קאָוואַרסק) in the 18th century. In 1847, there were 342 Jews in the town. In the late 19th century, the town is known to have had a Jewish congregation with a rabbi of its own. In 1897, the Jewish population was 979, or 63% of the total. The Jews were expelled by the retreating Russian army in 1915, and only a half of them returned after WWI. According to the first census of the Independent Lithuanian state, there were 436 Jews in Kavarskas in 1923. A beautiful beit-midrash was built after the war. The community had a Jewish primary school and a library. Zionist organisations were active until the Soviet occupation in 1940. When the Germans invaded in 1941, Lithuanian nationalists murdered 30 Jewish men and women even before the German troops had reached the town. The rest were transferred to Ukmergė and shot on 5 September 1941.

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