DAUGAI: Alytus County, Alytus raj Print

Alternate names: Dowig, Doig, Dovig, Daugai, Daug, Daugay, Dauge, Daugu, Daugų, Daugi, Doyg and Dawgi. Modern maps use Daugai. 54°22' 24°20'. (link to map1, link to map2) Alytus district, southern Lithuania. Many Jews from Dowig emigrated to Bostonarea around 1880. Daugai is situated on a peninsula in a lake. 1914 Jewish population: 110 Jewish families (60%). Daugai had one synagogue and a Tarbut school. During WWI, many Jewish refugees, especially from Vilna, sought refuge here. The Jewish community helped with a soup kitchen. A number of the refugees settled in Daugai where a library and a German school opened. In 1925, half of the small town burned and was rebuilt with the help of the Joint (Committee of American Jewry). Most Jews engaged in trade, crafts, and fishery. A weekly market day and two sawmills and a Jewish bank represent other parts of Jewish pursuits. During Lithuanian independence, the Jews lost their businesses; Jewish shopkeepers had to move or emigrate. 1936 Jewish population: 90. 1941 Jewish population: 90 Jewish families (about 500 people). After the outbreak of WWII (1939 )and the conquest of Poland by the Germans, Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union in late Summer 1940. [March 2009]

Jewish cemetery: [September 2010]

MASS GRAVE: On June 22, 1941, the first day of war with Germany, the German army took the town. Lithuanian white-band squads began harrassing the Jewish population, looting Jewish houses, and killing Jewish families suspected of communist sympathies. A week later, armed Lithuanians murdered a group of Jewish men and boys near the town. At the end of August 1941, the remaining Jews were taken from their houses and told they were going to the district town. Their belongings were left behind. On the road to Alytus in the forest near Vidgiris, they were shot to death in ditches prepared earlier. Only a very few of Dowig Jews escaped. Two women were hidden by the Lithuanian teacher Degasis and the farm owner Kumpis. After the war, a Holocaust memorial was erected on the site of the massacre. [March 2009]

MASS GRAVE: Forest of Vidzgiris near Alytus; 74-77; pic. # 48-52; Unknown. US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad

Last Updated on Monday, 27 September 2010 14:22