TAURAGNAI: Kovno Print

Alternate names: Tauragnai [Lith], Torigin [Yid], Tavroginy [Rus], Tauroginie [Pol], Taragin, Targin, Taurognue, Tauragunay, Tauragnų, Tauragnay, Tauraginos, Tauraginai, Russian: Таврогины. טאָראָגין -Yiddish. 55°27' N, 25°49' E, 9 miles ESE of Utena (Utiyan), 25 miles NNW of Švenčionys (Sventzion). 1897 Jewish population; 596 (56%). ShtetLinkSłownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), XII, p. 264: "Tauroginie". 1923 Jewish population was 477. In the inter-war period, some Jews emigrated to South Africa, the USA, and Palestine. On the eve of WWII about 200 Jews remained in Tauragnai. During Lithuanian independence, the Jewish community had a synagogue, Yavne school, and a cheder. The Jews and Lithuanians coexisted peacefully.

MASS GRAVE: Forest of Rase, 2 km from Utena; 179-181; pic. # 320-326; Source: US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad: see Shkudvil

At the beginning of WWII, Tauragnai suffered huge damage when most of the town was set afire by withdrawing NKVD units. In the first days of the war, a squad of Lithuanian partisans established in Tauragnai was composed of about 40 men. The partisans shot at withdrawing groups of Red Army forces and took Russian soldiers prisoner. Later, local white-bands launched massive arrests of remaining communists and executed ten. In summer 1944, all Jews were driven to the ghetto on the street known today as Ateities. Before WWII, the street was inhabited only by Jews and called ‘the Jewish Street' by locals Some Lithuanians support Jewish families with food although authorities prohibited that. In August, all remaining Tauragnai Jews were taken to Utena by the local white-bands and shot together with Jews from Utena District in Raše forest on 29 August 1941. [March 2009]

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 April 2009 09:07