Ratnycia Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Lithuania
Region
Alytus
District
Druskininkai
Settlement
Ratnyčia
Site address
The cemetery is located behind No.14 Dainavos street, which is the last house on the street. From this house turn right and drive for about 70 meters, the cemetery is in the wood on the left of the road.
GPS coordinates
54.00133,24.0138
Perimeter length
260 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
The territory is marked with stones, there is a line of stones dug in around perimeter.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is mostly clear, the ground is partially covered with foliage and fallen branches. The site is located too close to the Belarusian border.
Number of existing gravestones
143
Date of oldest tombstone
1878
Date of newest tombstone
1926
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
There is a memorial dedicated to the cemetery.
Drone surveys
No

Historical overview

Ratnyčia was a small village that had 539 inhabitants in 1897, of which 517 of them were Jewish, the majority of whom had -ov/ovski/ski suffixes in their family names. In the 20th century Ratnyčia (spellings of the name also include Radnitsa and Rotniza) was absorbed by a resort town Druskininkai.
200 Jews from Ratnyčia were killed, along with Jews from neighbouring Druskininkai: they were taken to the Kolbasin concentration camp near Grodno and from there sent to Treblinka extermination camp in 1942.
The old Jewish cemetery in Ratnyčia is located at the outskirts of the village, close to the forest. The cemetery was established here at the end of the 18th century and was in use until the Second World War. In the 1970s the cemetery was demolished, and the bulk of the gravestones was used as building materials in Druskininkai and the surrounding area. In 2015 the cemetery was registered in the Cultural Property Register of the Republic of Lithuania and now it is protected by the state.
Currently 140 stone, granite and concrete headstones or their fragments have been found within the irregularly shaped area which is 0.4 hectares large and is marked by small rocks. Inside the cemetery there is a three-part monument consisting of grey stone slabs concreted side by side. The central slab has a dedication in Lithuanian, on the surface of the right-side slab there is a menorah and inscription in Hebrew, the left-side slab with the Star of David engraved is in Yiddish.