Smalininkai Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Lithuania
Region
Taurage
District
Jurbarkas
Settlement
Smalininkai
Site address
Driving West on road 141, there will be an intersection with Stoties, L.Meškaitytės street. Turn left onto Stoties street and proceed forward for about 550 meters. The cemetery should be on the right. To the South of the cemetery there is a house, No.5 Stoties street.
GPS coordinates
55.07601,22.58621
Perimeter length
220 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
There is a low metal fence 0.5-1m high with a concrete gate arch only on the front side.
Preservation condition
Demolished Jewish cemetery that has not been built over
General site condition
The cemetery site is clear and appears to be a well-kept wood or park. The ground is slightly covered with foliage. There are stacks of branches stored in piles on the territory. The site is located too close to the border of the Schengen area and the Kaliningrad region.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved.
Date of oldest tombstone
N/A
Date of newest tombstone
N/A
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
There is a memorial dediacted to the former cemetery.
Drone surveys
No

Historical overview

Smalininkai (Smalinink in Yiddish) is a village in south-western Lithuania, 10 miles west of the district capital Jurbarkas, just on the border between Lithuania and the Kaliningrad (formerly Koenigsberg) province of the Russian Federation. There is a document from 1742, about an inn in Smalininkai that belonged to a Jewish family. But the Jewish community was not fully established until the 19th century. A synagogue was built in Smalininkai in 1846, it was later burnt by the Nazis during World War II. The local Jews made their living through small trade, crafting, and guest houses. At the end of March 1939, when Nazi Germany occupied the Klaipeda region, many changes occured. The Jews of Smalininkai fled to the still independent Lithuania. Their fate was the same as that of the majority of Lithuanian Jews during the Holocaust.
The Jewish cemetery of Smalininkai was established in the 19th century. The cemetery was still in use until 1939. The Jewish cemetery was destroyed during the Soviet time, and the gravestones were removed as raw material for new construction works. The destruction even continued after 1990 and the fall of the USSR. In 1992 the cemetery was registered into the Cultural Property Register of the Republic of Lithuania. There is a memorial stone with an inscription in Yiddish and Lithuanian: “The old Jewish cemetery. May their memory be eternal”.