Alternate names: Vilnius [Lith], Vilna [Rus], Wilno [Pol], Vilne [Yid], Wilna [Ger], Viļņa [Latv], Vilnia, Vilno, Vilnyus, Russian: Вильна, Bильнюc. ווילנע-Yiddish. 54°41' N, 25°19' E, Capital of Lithuania, but was in Poland between the two World Wars. 1900 Jewish population: 63,841. Yizkors: Ghetto in flames; the struggle and destruction of the Jews in Vilna in the Holocaust (Jerusalem, 1980); Yerushalayim de Lita (New York, 1974); Ir Vilna: Zikhronot adat Yisrael ve-toldot haye gedoleha (Vilna, 1900); Bleter vegn Vilne; zamlbukh (Lodz, 1947); Vilner zamlbukh--measef Vilna (Tel Aviv, 1974. ShtetLink. Vilna Center for Jewish Heritage (Vilna Shul- Boston) website. [October 2000]
History of the three Jewish cemeteries in Vilnius of which only one remains, the new Jewish cemetery opened in Šeškinė district near Sudervė Cemetery. "The oldest and the largest Jewish cemetery was established in Šnipiškės (Yiddish: Shnipishok) suburb, now in Žirmūnai elderate, on the opposite bank of the Neris River than Gediminas Tower in the 15th century. It was closed by Tsarist authorities in 1831. It was destroyed by the Soviet authorities in 1949-1950 during the construction of Žalgiris Stadium. The Palace of Concerts and Sports (Lithuanian: Koncertų ir sporto rūmai) was built in 1971 right in the middle of the former cemetery. In 2005, apartment and office buildings were built on top of another part of the site, incurring condemnation from international Jewish organizations and resulted in a motion being passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008, condemning Lithuania for its "failure to protect the historic Jewish cemetery in Vilnius." In August 2009 Lithuanian government reached agreement with Jewish organizations on the boundaries of the cemetery and granted it protected status. Buildings already on the site will not be demolished. [September 2009]
UPDATE: cemetery photos. [March 2007]
UPDATE: Vandalism: Vandals demolished 22 gravestones in the Vilnius (Vilna) Jewish cemetery on the night of 23 June 2006. The President of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus, city officials, and others all reacted strongly to the destruction, saying they hoped the perpetrators would soon be identified. With assistance from the municipality, the gravestones were quickly restored, but the vandals have not been apprehended. The news was announced on the Jewish community of Lithuania website in July. [January 2009]
MASS GRAVE: Pantrial; 39-47; pic. # 1-12. Subacius str.; 48-49; pic. # 13-15; source: US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 27 March 2010 23:51|