You are here: Home Eastern Europe Lithuania TELSIAI: Telšiai District and County
TELSIAI: Telšiai District and County PDF Print E-mail

Alternate names: Telšiai [Lith], Telshi [Rus], Telzh [Yid], Telsze [Pol], Telsche [Ger], Telši [Latv], Telšē, Teltsch, Telshe, Telschi, Telsh, Telshie, Telšių, Telz, Russian: Тельши. טעלז-Yiddish. 55°59' N, 22°15' E, former uyezd capital, in NW Lithuania. 99 miles NW of Kaunas (Kovno), 42 miles W of Šiauliai (Shavl). Yizkors: Sefer Telz (Lita); matsevet zikaron le-kehila kedosha (Tel Aviv, 1984) and Lite (vol. 1) (New York, 1951). ShtetLink. Before WWII, on Lake Mastisbetween mountains and valleys. Of the approximate population of Telz was 8,000 residents, Jews comprised 30-35%. Of the twelve members of the Town Council, three are Jews. The OZA [infirmary and medical school subsidized by local community] took care of the schools while the modern Jewish hospital building was built with $6,000 donated by American, Nathan David Kroll. A railroad line replaced a coach to Papelyan and Mazheysk. Education was staunchly Orthodox. [March 2009]

"BAT KAMA AT is a historical, educational and artistic project about the history and culture of Lithuanian Jewry, through the lens of Jewish education for women in Telz during the interwar period. The project aims to maintain and deepen the knowledge in the history and the culture of Lithuanian Jews and to highlight aspects of this history that have been neglected." [Sept 2012]

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: "Known in Yiddish as Tels, I had the opportunity to meet with one of the last surviving Jewish residents. He took me for a walking tour of the Jewish cemetery, where some leading Lithuanian rabbis are buried. Although a small number of graves have been restored by surviving families, most are in bad shape and all are in need of upkeep--an unfortunate state of affairs for the only local memorial to what was once a center of Jewish life in Baltic Europe. I have videotaped the cemetery as well as a statement in Yiddish by the local Jewish resident who has taken it upon himself to take care of some of the graves at his own expense." Source: private (JB)

UPDATE: "12 Jews, mostly married to non-Jewish origin females, live here. There are attempts at reconstituting the Jewish Community. Four sites, including the Telz Yeshiva, have been returned legally by the Town Council to the Jewish Community. A photo of a park... "in this area the Jewish cemetery was located". Three quarters of the area is now a park. Many stones have been stolen and used for building purposes. About 100 stones exist dating to the mid-1960's, half-legible, many broken and worn. The area was fenced but the gate has been stolen. The tomb of renowned Rabbi Yehuda Leib Bloch and his wife is intact. He and Reb Lazer Gordon were heads of the Telz Yeshiva. This is intact and now used as a carpentry workshop. It was housed here from 1873-1941 then relocated to Cleveland Ohio." Source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [date?]

UPDATE: Cemetery information. Source: Litvak SIG. [October 2003]

MASS GRAVE: Telsiai, near the territory of Dairy company "2emaitijos pienas"; 175; pic. # 310. Near the village of Rainiai, at workshop; 171; pic. # 295-297. The woods of Rainiai, about 5 km SE of Telsiai; 173; pic. # 301. Forest near the village of Viesvenai, 2 km in the direction of Luoke; 173; pic. # 302. Near the village of Geruliai, 10 km E of Telsiai; 172; pic. # 300. Near Alsedziai, about 1I km of town; 140; pic. # 209 US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad

UPDATE: "I met Eugenijus Bunka, Yossel's son, whom This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it had employed and highly recommended. As Eugenijus continually lamented Jews who might have supplied first hand information, courtesy of the Germans, were underground. He took us to a series of what he termed "shooting places" marked by modest stones and surrounded by fences, save for that of Plunge where his father and friends had produced exceptional monuments. The contrast of the local attitude was poignant outside Telsh. On the main highway, an important sign, memorial grove, and large traditional chapel commemorated 73 "Lithuanian" martyrs. On the right, an unmarked dirt road led to the mass grave of 7,500 Jews in a simply fenced mound, clearly lesser beings. The cemetery in Telsh while tended by, among others, visitors from the yeshiva in Cleveland, is only a fragment of its original size. The stones are worn and difficult to read, not necessarily associated with the actual grave. Further, as Eugenijus remarked, most, especially the old ones, do not record anything more than the first name and that of a parent. He said typically in the shtetlach, people referred to the Jewish residents by their first names so it was difficult to be certain about their family. He and my wife's cousin walked us around the Jewish quarter and ghetto of Telsh, a small, sad area commemorated by granite markers. They pointed out the rude wooden shul and the nearby decaying yeshiva that had been used as a warehouse. He took us into the Telsh archives but the director, who admitted us after chewing out a subordinate so loudly we could hear her at a distance through the closed door, told us all records after 1940 were kept in Vilna." Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997; source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

[UPDATE] Visiting Jewish Cemetery in Telsiai [October 2015]

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 October 2015 15:42
Web site created by Open Sky Web Design based on a template by Red Evolution