Lazdijai Jewish Cemetery
Given the oldest tombstone dates to 1884, it can be inferred the cemetery was already in use by then.
Jews lived in Lazdijai (Pl. Łoździeje, Yid. לאַזדיי) as early as in the 16th century, but a congregation was not established until 1689. Frequent fires ravished the town, but the Jewish community was well organised. Zionists were already active in the Hovevei Zion period. In 1897, the Jewish population was 1,439, or 57% of the total. In 1915, the Jews were expelled by the retreating Russian army, but most returned after WWI. Under the Independent Lithuanian state, the community maintained several synagogues, a Hebrew school, a yeshiva, a library. The Jewish People’s Bank (Folksbank) operated in the town. On the eve of WWII in 1939, there were 1,212 Jews in Lazdijai. In 1940, Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union. After the German invasion in 1941, the Jews were taken to the ghetto in Katkiškė. In November 1941, they were murdered. A Jewish couple who were able to survive returned to Lazdijai after the war. They had a daughter, who was probably the last Jew born in the town. The family soon emigrated to Israel.