Smalininkai Jewish Cemetery
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”.