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Alternate/former names: Ashmyany (Belarusian: Ашмя́ны, Ašmiany, Lithuanian: Ašmena, Polish: Oszmiana, Russian: Ошмяны), Ashmyany [Bel], Oshmyany [Rus], Oszmiana [Pol], Oshmene and אָשמענע[ Yid], Ašmena [Lith], Aschmjany [Ger], Ašmiany, Asmjany, Oshmana, Oshmiana, Oshmina, Osmiana, Osmiany, Oszmiany, Ozmiana. Located at 54°25' N, 25°56' E, 75.1 miles WNW of Minsk and 31 miles SE of Vilnius in Hrodna voblast, Belarus (previously Vilna Guberniya, Imperial Russia), capital of the Ašmiany raion lies in the basin of the Oshmianka River (Lithuanian: Ašmena)..

Yizkor: Sefer Zikaron le-kehilat Oshmana (Tel Aviv, 1969). Town images and links.

Hebrew website with photo: [Apr 2014]

CEMETERY: near the "new" school, a light colored brick building surrounded by a white and blue wooden fence. Drive past the school to some 5-6-story apartment buildings (white). The cemetery is in a field by the apartments.

The Jewish population was 376 in the 1766 census. See photographs. [January 2009]

A partial listing of burials exists. This town also belonged to Lithuania at a different time. Present Jewish population: 1-6. Person to contact regarding cemetery: Our guide was This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Tzadakkim and other noteworthy Jews buried in the cemetery: Rabbi Shmuelson and Rabbi Gelpand. The cemetery site is isolated rural flat land, with no sign or marker, near the "new" school. The school is a light colored brick building surrounded by a white and blue wooden fence. If you drive past the school, you will see some 5-6-story apartment buildings (white) ahead. The cemetery is right there in a field by the apartments. The cemetery has a lot of stones spread out over a large field. Access is open to all with no wall, gate, or fence. Approximately 400 gravestones are in the cemetery, with 250 in original location. About 25% of surviving gravestones are toppled or broken. Vegetation is a constant problem disturbing graves and stones and damaging stones. The granite, limestone, and sandstone tombstones may date from the 18th century. Some tombstones are rough stones or boulders, flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, sculpted monuments, or obelisks. Some tombstones have portraits on stones, metal fences around graves, or are common gravestones. Inscriptions are in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian. The cemetery has many stones spread out over a large field and is not in great shape. Many of stones are overturned or buried by weeds, dirt etc. Many are very weathered and hard to read. No known mass graves. I found a couple large bones but could not tell if they were human or animal. We copied down the last names from 195 stones. It would be fair to say that most of the graves in the section we worked were from 1900 +/- 25 years. Other sections had earlier ones. We recorded them by row. In the list of names, the ones with 2 names mean that it was a doublewide stone or one stone with 2 names. We worked mostly on the graves within a small wooded area. I would say we missed getting information from 1/4 of them because they were overturned, missing, or buried. The rows mentioned in the list refer to this wooded area, starting with the side closest to the apartments. The present owner of the property is unknown and is now used for inactive Jewish cemetery and agriculture (crops or animal grazing). Properties adjacent to the cemetery are residential. The cemetery is visited occasionally. Organized Jewish group tour or pilgrimage groups, organized individual tours, and private visitors visit the cemetery. No maintenance. Within the limits of the cemetery, are no structures. Security (uncontrolled access), weather erosion, vegetation, vandalism, and incompatible nearby developments are threats. One resident thought that a corner of the cemetery may have been lost when they put up one of the apartment buildings (unconfirmed). If you are going, I recommend taking clippers and work gloves (a lot of rosebushes to clear away) and a spade. I spoke with Regina about going back and recording the names and dates on all the stones. This is something she does for other cemeteries, when funding is made available. If anyone has any interest is joining with me to fund this, please let me know. Her estimate was $2000-$3000. This would be her for time and 2 others to clear away the brush and lift up the many overturned stones. Source: Scott Noar; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; phone: 856-663-5192, completed the survey on 31 August 1999. He visited the site on 18 August 1999 with Pat Noar and Regina Kopelivitch. [September 1999]

UPDATE: Organization of Oshmiany New Comers (Olim) in Israel announces restoration and rebuilding of the Jewish cemetery about 50 kilometers from Vilnius. Former residents of Oshmiany found the Jewish cemetery half destroyed. Part of the tombs were stolen, broken, or dispersed in the field. A few are still standing. The cemetery is overgrown with wild overgrown grass and filled with garbage. Herds of pigs and cows graze. The old fence has disappeared. City hall intends to remove the graves and build on the site. The Jewish Oshmiany organization registered as non-profit organization whose registration number is 58-034-598-1, Town officials were very positive about restoration..All the expenses of the restoration have to be provide by our organization. We need additional help to preserve and eliminate the complete destruction of the cemetery. Chanan Peled- Chairman. 24 Argaman St. Ramat Efal 52960 ISRAEL. Tel. +972-3-6351493. Source: JewishGen Digest. [March 2004]

Jewish cemetery photos. [February 2010]

MASS GRAVE: photos of the massacre sites and memorials of 700 Jews on 23 October 1942; of 573 Jews on the 3-4 July 1941; and of 353 Jews on 4 July 1941.[March 2009]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 April 2014 18:28
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