LUOKE: Kovno Print

Alternate names: Luokė [Lith], Luknik [Yid], Lukniki [Rus], Łukniki [Pol], Luokės, Lavkov, Luknif, Loknik, Luykeve, Luoka. Russian: Лукники. לוקניק-Yiddish. 55°53' N, 22°31' E, 12 miles ESE of Telšiai (Telz), 31 miles W of Šiauliai (Shavl). 1900 Jewish population: 798. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), V, p. 817: "Łukniki". Siauliai District Research Group has a great deal of data. Louke, in a hilly area of western Lithuania not far from the river Vaidis which is a tributary of the Virvyte river, had markets before 1649. SE of Louke is a hill, Satrija, that served as a fortress. Louke even had its own unit of weight- the Loukes Mastas (Polish: Luknika Miara) that applied to the calculation of tribute and sale of goods in the market. Thursday markets and four annual fairs (including cattle) were held regularly. With 539 inhabitants in 1744, by 1853 two schools, a state school, and the parish school existed (closed in 1863).  In 1923 the population was 1287 and approximately 1,300 in 1940. In the mid-17th century, Louke became famous for trade fairs. In 1841 the town had 539 inhabitants rising to 1,626 by 1897. In 1866 Louke had a mill, two breweries, a few workshops, several shoemakers and tailors, about 20 shops all owned by Jews, and several taverns. Louke did not develop because no railway line was nearby. In 1897 Louke had 700 inhabitants. In the days of Tsarist Russia it belonged to the Telsiai district. A lack of water lead to the entire western part of the town burning down in 1911. Another fire in 1934 led to modernization including street lights. In independent Lithuania, this township seat had several small industries and retail stores.  The Germans liquidated the Jewish community; the Bolsheviks imprisoned banished and tortured many Lithuanians. During the military operations of 1944, the town was destroyed and after 1950 became the "New Life" collective farm with a secondary school, a hospital, a post office, and mill, a saw mill, etc. In 1959 it had 700 inhabitants. [March 2009]

ONLINE VIDEO: Gostini-Jaunjelgava (Friedrichstadt)-Ilukste-Kraziai-Luoke (86KB) - Sunny day of May in Gostini. Dr.Howard Epstein and his son Daniel from Atlanta, Georgia arrived to Gostini/Dankere/Glazmanka for to say kaddish at the grave of their grand and gr.grand-mother Chaya Vichna Genchel died in 1909. Then, they came to Jaunjelgava for to look at the old streets, dwelling houses and the  cemetery. Ilukste: Holocaust site and the old part of the town. From Latvia- to Lithuania- old picturesque cemetery, the synagogue. Visiting Luoke enjoy nostalgic music, the cemetery, the cobbled streets, see the site of  the synagogue.

CEMETERY: "This was the best preserved of the cemeteries that we visited. It is situated on a small hill in a little valley overlooking lush farmland, nestled behind and below a farm on one of the main roads that goes through the town center. From the road, the view of the cemetery is breathtaking. Clearly seen are scores of well-preserved tombstones, free of overgrown brush, and many standing in the shade of trees. There are as many as 150-200 tombstones, but we had time to record inscriptions from only 15 of them, dating from 1874-1935. Source: Kirschner, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [date? before 1997]

Overgrown with weeds, about 200 stone could be found in 2000.

A second Jewish cemetery is located on the other main road that intersects the town center; but this one has no gravestones. On its gate is only a plaque memorializing the grounds and indicating that this one contained graves up to the year 1936." Source: Kirschner, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [date? before 1997]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 March 2009 13:42