Moletai Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Lithuania
Region
Utena County
District
Settlement
Molėtai
Site address
Moletai Jewish Cemetery
GPS coordinates
55.22583, 25.4223
Perimeter length
510 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 cemetery is well-maintained.
Number of existing gravestones
110
Date of oldest tombstone
1904 (the earliest tombstone found by ESJF).
Date of newest tombstone
1927 (the latest tombstone found by ESJF).
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
No

Historical overview

Given the oldest preserved tombstone dates to 1904, it can be inferred the cemetery was already in use by the early 20th century.

Jews began to settle in Molėtai (Pl. Malaty, Yid. מאַליאַט) in the 18th century. In 1765, the town had 170 Jewish taxpayers. By 1847, 1,006 Jews had settled in Molėtai. In the 1880, many of the local Jews emigrated to South Africa. In 1897, the Jewish population of the town was 1,948, or 81% of the total. During WWI, the Jews were expelled from Molėtai by the Russian army, and only two-thirds of them returned after the war. In the interwar period, the Jewish Popular Bank (Folksbank) operated in Molėtai and had a branch in nearby Alunta. There was a large Jewish emigration to the US, Uruguay, South Africa. In 1940, about 350 Jewish families remained in Molėtai. All of the Jews were murdered by the German army and Lithuanian nationalists in 1941.

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