Lazdijai Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Lithuania
Region
Alytus
District
Settlement
Lazdijai
Site address
Lazdijai Jewish Сemetery
GPS coordinates
54.24239, 23.51924
Perimeter length
545 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. There is some seasonal vegetation on the cemetery.
Number of existing gravestones
around 120.
Date of oldest tombstone
1884 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
1900 (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 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.

View 3D model