SIAULIAI: Šiauliai County Print

Alternate names: Šiauliai [Lith], Shavl [Yid], Shavli [Rus], Schaulen [Ger], Szawle [Pol], Šauļi [Latv], Schavli, Shaulyai, Shawli, Shiaulai, Silaliai, Šiaulių, Russian: Шавли. שאָװל-Yiddish.  55°56' N, 23°19' E, 42 miles WNW of Panevėžys (Ponevezh). Yizkors: Pinkas Shavli-Yoman mi-Ghetto Lita (Jerusalem, 1958) and Azoy zaynen mir gestorbn (Munich, 1949). ShtetLink. Town photos. Town history. [March 2009]

ONLINE VIDEO: Jurbarkas-Kaunas-Sauliai (Shavel)-Pokrojis-Birzai (226KB)  - Online video of the cemeteries and synagogues of Jurbarkas, Kaunas and Pokrojis. Watch and listen to interviews with leaders of  the Jewish communities in  Kovno and Birzh. See views of  the streets and  meetings with other local Jewish people. ShtetLink. The Siauliai District Research Group has distributed a great deal of data for towns in the Siauliai district. Towns in Siauliai district include Akmene, Baisogala, Gruzdziai, Joniskis, Klykoliai, Kurseniai, Laizuva, Leckava, Luoke, Lygumai, Padubysys, Papile, Pasvitinys, Radviliskis, Saukenai, Seduva, Siaulenai, Siauliai (city), Tryskiai, Uzventis, Vaiguva, Vegeriai, Vieksniai, Zagare (new and old). Most of the towns are searchable on the ALD. photo. town information about Chaim Frenkel ,who owned the biggest leather factory in the Russian Empire. 1897 population about 16,000. 19091: 56.4% were Jewish. Šiauliai was known for its leather industry. [March 2009]

Photos of gravestones. [October 2009]

http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/gallery/pg38/pg3/pg38357.html [January 2001]

CEMETERY: Several hundred stones are in poor condition. Cemetery is overgrown, not maintained, is almost completely destroyed according to Dr. Feigmanis. Source forwarded by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Siauleniai (Shavvlan) was an early cemetery for the Jews of the area before permission was given to have a cemetery in Siauliai. This is the cemetery described as run-down but existing for one of the Siauliai entries. As I remember it, most of the stones were legible. The cemetery is on a hill amidst a copse of trees and has a standard memorial tablet in Yiddish, Lithuanian and Hebrew giving the date and number of the Jews murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. The latter addition does not exist in the Lithuanian version. Whoever wrote the wording of the Hebrew version intended to write so and so many Jews were murdered, men women and child, but confused the Hebrew word for men (G'varim) with heroes (Giborim). As that memorial has been used in many cemeteries just changing the numbers and dates, the same error recurs. Source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [date?]

In Siauliai, aside from the four or five standing tombstones, part of the Jewish cemetery was walled off into the Catholic cemetery. There are still a number of tombstones there but I did not see them. There is a medieval church at the top of a relatively (for Lithuania) high hill in the midst of the town. The Russians built steps up to the church using both Jewish and Christian tombstones (on the egalitarian basis that "religion is the opium of the masses"). Source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [date?]

UPDATE: Dating from 1701 or 1748, the desolate open space was closed in 1965. A small, graffiti-spattered memorial stone at the former entrance with only a few broken graves can be found. The stone wall that once surrounded the cemetery only survives along its northern border. Soviet officials and their willing Lithuanian accomplices pillaged the site with a small part of it incorporated into the flight of steps near the Cathedral know as Aušros Takas. [March 2009]

The Jewish cemetery of Siauliai [May 2013]

MASS GRAVE: Forest of Kuziai, about 15 km from Siauliai, at the road to the village of Verbunai; 156-157; pic. # 254-258. Forest of Gubernija (Forestry of Normanciai), about 0,5 km from the Gruzddziai road; 156-157; pic. # 259-201. Zagare, town park; 90; pic. # 84-85 US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad.

In 1939, one quarter of the city's population was Jewish. German soldiers entered Šiauliai on June 26, 1941. About 1000 people were shot in the nearby woods during the first weeks of occupation after being forced to dig their own graves. Siauliai had two ghettos: one in the Kaukas suburb and one in Traku. The Jewish population was reduced from 8,000 to 500 with about 80% of the buildings destroyed. [March 2009]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 23:21