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MAZEIKIAI: Mažeikiai district, Telšiai County PDF Print E-mail

Alternate names: Mažeikiai [Lith], Mazheik [Yid], Mozheyki [Rus], Mažeiķi [Latv], Możejki [Pol], Moscheiken [Ger], Murawlewo, Muravjovo, Mazheykyay, Mažeikiu, Mozheĭki, Mazeikai, Mazheiki, Mazheyk, Mazheyki, Mazik, Mezyk, Murav Evo, Muravievo, Morviova, Russian: Можейки. מאַזשייק-Yiddish. 56°19' N, 22°20' E, 23 miles N of Telšiai (Telz), 46 miles NW of Šiauliai (Shavl). 1900 Jewish population: 435. Yizkor: Lite (vol. 1) (New York, 1951). ShtetLink.[ The Libau-Romny rail line opened in 1868 and the Mazeikiai-Riga line in 1874. Settlement of Jews in Mazeikiai simultaneously with the railway development. The post WWI population of 10,000 included about 700-800 Jews. A Jewish population. larger before WWI, had many large businesses and warehouses, food and leather businesses, tile and sulphur factories, shopkeepers, a large export shovel factory with a dozen Jewish brokers to country shops, and peddlers to villages. During WWI, almost the entire town burned. During World War I , Mazeikiai Jews with most of the Jews of Lithuania and Courland were exiled to Russia and  Ukraine. Most of the town was set afire and destroyed. After WWI, Jews returned fand began to rebuild the burned homes and businesses. Shops opened. A Hebrew progymnazia and public school were founded. Foreign firms opened an egg warehouse for export to England and Germany. A distillery, a rolling mill, and tile, and knitting factories opened. Jews from surrounding towns such as Latzkeve, Pikeln, Siad, etc. settled here. Business was lucrative until about 1929-1930 when the Telz-Kretingen railroad opened and Lithuanian businessmen held to "Lithuania for the Lithuanians." Many Jews emigrated to America, South Africa, and Palestine. In 1929, the folksbank had 45 million lita, but in 1934 only 17 million lita. Cultural activities languished. A Jewish women's union supported a public school for the poor. The progymnazia (junior high) shrunk with each passing year. A private kindergarten had a summer camp for about thirty poor children in a nearby forest. An all Jewish volunteer fire department, two Jewish doctors, three Jewish dentists, and a Jewish private attorney lived here. photos [March 2009]

ONLINE VIDEO: Kaunas 9th forth-Saulenai-Sauliai-Joniskis-Taurage-Vainutas-Silute-Telsiai-Mazheiki-Leckava-Bauska (195KB) - Visit the archives in Kaunas, then terrible Nazi prison 9th fort. See the cemetery in Shavlyan, old synagogues in Shavel, Joniskis, Taurage. Jewish cemetery and famous Yeshiva in Telsiai, listen the interview with the leader of community in Yiddish. Leckava- the cemetery and the town. Bauska- views of the old town and the exhibition "Jews in Bauska" in local Museum. [March 2009]

CEMETERY and MASS GRAVES: Almost all gravestones have been destroyed. In August 2000, three legible gravestones were visible. The Germans entered Mažeikia (Mazheik) on Wednesday, June 25, 1941. Mass killings of the men occurred on August 3, 1941 and the women on Saturday, August 9th--a total of possibly 1,000 people. On the outskirts of the town is a road-sign on the edge of thick woods is a sign marking the mass grave. A footpath inside the woods teads to the old Jewish cemetery. A large rock with a memorial plaque on grassy areas with a low iron fence to mark the site where hundreds of Mazheik residents lie. Subsequently, none remained. Next to the cemetery, a series of narrow black granite pillars a few feet apart hold up a third cross-piece inscribed in Yiddish to commemorate the slaughter and mass burial site of 4,000 Jewish men, women and children, who perished at that spot with the Jews of Mazeikiai: Seda (Siad), Viekshniai (Veckshna), Tirksliai (Tirkshla), Zidikai (Shidik), Pikeliai (Pikeln), Klykoliai (Klilul) and other towns. a little further away are several non-Jewish graves (communists also killed there.) A few feet behind the tall granite Holocaust memorial is another shorter pair inscribed in Lithuanian on the top cross-column. Also see Seda. [March 2009]

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 August 2009 22:00
 
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