Laukuva Second Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Lithuania
Region
Taurage
District
Silale
Settlement
Laukuva
Site address
Laukuva Second Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
55.61466, 22.23414
Perimeter length
216 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
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery. The majority of the cemetery was demolished. The site is severely overgrown with bushes and high grass. Clearance is required.
Number of existing gravestones
1. The only preserved matzeva is lying face down; it must be lifted for dating.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Low
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
No

Historical overview

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. There is no information about when it was demolished or the location of most of the tombstones. Further research is required.

Jews began to settle in Laukuva (Pl. Ławkowo, Yid. לויקעווע) in the 18th century. In 1897, the Jewish population was 418, or 55% of the total. After WWI, according to the first census of the Independent Lithuanian state in 1923, there were 305 Jews in Laukuva, or 42% of the total population. In the interwar period, there was a large Jewish emigration to the US, South Africa and Palestine. The community maintained a beit-midrash, a talmud-torah, a Hebrew school and a library. Zionist organisations were active until the Soviet occupation in 1940. On the eve of the German invasion in 1941, there were about 300 Jews in Laukuva. After the arrival of the Nazis, Jewish males over the age of 15 were taken to the Heydekrug (Šilutė) work camp. Those who remained alive were sent to Auschwitz in 1943. The women and children were murdered in July and December 1941. Seven women and one child were hidden by Lithuanian peasants and survived.

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