Sejny Old Jewish Cemetery
Sejny was established as a private town in the 1590’s and was granted Magdeburg Rights before 1602. In 1602, the owner gave the town to the Dominican Order. Jews have lived in Sejny since the 17th century.
In 1768, to revive the economy, the Dominicans brought in Jewish settlers, who obtained an official settlement privilege in 1787. From 1788, facilities for the Jewish community were built in the town centre. In 1796, as many as 222 Jews lived there. The Jewish population in Sejny reached its peak in 1885 when Jews accounted for 3,375 of the town’s 4,500 inhabitants (75% of the total population). In 1931, there were only 819 Jews.
At the beginning of World War II, the Germans deported Jews to the border with Lithuania. Their further history is unknown. During the war, the community facilities were partially ruined. The first Jewish cemetery in Sejny was likely established in the 1880s and was located outside the town, approximately 450 metres south of the market square. Its history and appearance are unknown. It was shaped like a rectangle and covered an area of approximately 0.5 hectares. It was in use until around 1830 when the new cemetery was established. It was destroyed during World War II. After the war, it was forgotten, then divided into plots and developed. There are no traces of the cemetery and no tombstones have been found.