Turgeliai Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Lithuania
Region
Vilnius County
District
Šalčininkai
Settlement
Turgeliai
Site address
Going South on Laibiškių street (road 5213) in Turgeliai, there will be a house on the left, No.1 Laibiškių street. From this point, continue going South for another 100m and then turn right onto a dirt road. Proceed forward for 100m and then the cemetery will be on the right, in the wood.
GPS coordinates
54.47863,25.53267
Perimeter length
290 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is heavily overgrown with trees and bushes and is covered with foliage. The ground and gravestones are covered with moss. There are broken gravestones. The site is too close to the Belarusian border.
Number of existing gravestones
37
Date of oldest tombstone
1929
Date of newest tombstone
1937
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
No

Historical overview

Turgeliai (Turgele in Yiddish) is a small town, 20 miles south-east of Vilnius. Jews first settled in Turgeliai in the 19th century. In 1880 a synagogue was built in the town.

Jews of Turgeliai together with other Jews from the Salcininkai district were murdered on September 22nd 1941, in a forest near Velicionis village. In total 1159 people were killed. There is a memorial plaque with an inscription in Yiddish and Lithuanian at the site of the massacre.

The Jewish cemetery of Turgeliai was established in the 19th century in the nearby village of Labiskes. There are around 100 granite and concrete gravestones in a poor condition, as well as some fragments, remaining in the cemetery today.. The cemetery was in use until the destruction of the Jewish community during the Holocaust. Nothing was built on the grounds of the cemetery during the Soviet time. In 2015 the cemetery was registered into the Cultural Property Register of the Republic of Lithuania.

There is a memorial monument with an inscription in Yiddish and Lithuanian: “The old Jewish cemetery. May their memory be eternal”.