Marijampole New Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Moldova
Region
None
District
Marijampole
Settlement
Marijampole
Site address
Marijampole New Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
54.56274, 23.32985
Perimeter length
400 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
12
Date of oldest tombstone
1882 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
1939 (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 is dated 1882, it can be inferred the cemetery was founded no later than the late 19th century.

It is likely that Jews began to settle in Marijampolė (Pl. Mariampol, Yid. מאַריאַמפּאָל) in the early 18th century. At first the Jews only lived on the left bank of the Šešupė , but began to move to the right bank towards the end of the 18th century. Zionist ideas spread as early as in the 1880s. Activists of the Bund openly opposed Zionism and disrupted Zionist events. In 1897, the Jewish population was 3,268, or 48% of the total. In 1915, the local Jews were accused of sympathising with the Germans and were forced to repair roads in the area as a punishment. According to the first census of the Independent Lithuanian state, there were 2,545 Jews in Marijampolė, or 27% of the total population, in 1923. In the interwar period, the community maintained two Hebrew primary schools, several libraries. The Hebrew high school, opened in 1919, was the first in the Diaspora, its former students went on to play important roles in the educational system of Israel. To name one, Baruch Ben Yehuda (1894–1990) served as the first director general of the Ministry of Education in Israel. The Jewish People’s Bank (Folksbank) had a branch in the town. At the time of the Soviet occupation in 1940, there were about 2,800 Jews in Marijampolė. After the German invasion in 1941, the Jews were confined in the synagogue precinct, where they were abused and taken to forced labour. On September 1, they were shot together with thousands of Jews from neighbouring towns.

View 3D model