ZEMAICIU NAUMIESTIS: Klaipeda county, Silute district Print

Alternate names: Zemaiciu Naumiestis,  Žemaičių Naumiestis [Lith], Neishtat Sugind [Yid], Neustadt Sugind [Ger], Ir Chadash Sugind [Heb], Aleksandrovsk [Rus], Nowe Miasto [Pol], Nishtot Tavrig, Neishtat, Aleksandria, Naumiestis-Taurage, Žemaitiu Naumiestis. Russian: Жемайчю-Науместис. נײַשטאָט־טאַווריק- Yiddish, in W Lithuania on the Shusta river near the former Prussian border. 33 miles SE of Klaipėda (Memel), 24 miles WNW of Tauragė (Tavrig). Yizkor: Nyshtat (, 1982). ShtetLink. Jews settled in Neishtot at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Trading mainly grain and flax with Memel, Koenigsberg and Hamburg, they also were farmers and owned shops. Later, hundreds of Neishtots Jews emigrated to South Africa, England, and America. Some returned from South Africa for a few years. In 1884 about 200 young men emigrated to SouthAfrica; ten returned to Neishtot after making money. Some families in Neishtot lived only on money sent by relatives in South Africa.

ONLINE VIDEO: Zemaiciu Naumestis (218KB) - Z.N. was on the border with Germany (East Prussia) before WW2. This video includes visits to the market place, Jewish shops, old cobbled streets, cemetery and the Holocaust memorial. [March 2009]

CEMETERY: JOWBR: Jewish Cemetery

see http://www.jewishgen.org/Litvak/neistatcem.htm [November 2002]

cemetery photos and photos. [March 2007]

MASS GRAVES: Ravines of Siaudvyciai, about 3 km E of Z. Naumiestis; 162-163; pic. #273; source:  US Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad [October 2000]

The German Army entered Neishtot on June 22, 1941, at 5 a.m. Soviet officers shot and killed fourteen German soldiers were killed as a result of which, the Germans arrested many Jewish men and imprisoned them in the local Lutheran Church. Only assurances from ministers  that the Jews were innocent enabled the Jews to return home. During the first weeks of the occupation, the Jews were forced to do work wearing a yellow patch on their clothing like sweeping streets, repairing roads, and in the big German field bakery. They were forbidden to walk on the sidewalks. Sometime in June, the Jews were forced by threats and beatings to remove all the holy books, torahs, the Aron Kodesh, and the benches from the synagogue to the yard and burn them. In early July, all Jews were moved into a few houses in the Pigs Street, a derelict quarter near the Sustis River, that became Neishtot's Jews' ghetto. The Germans and the Lithuanian collaborators took five Jewish girls from the ghetto; what happened to them is unknown. On July 19, all men ages fouteen and above assembled in the yard of the synagogue, where the old and the sick (about 70 people) were separated from them. Ten men were released to care for the women and children in the ghetto. The remaining 27 men were put on trucks to Heidekrug labor camp, about 15 km from Neishtot. That day, all old and sick from Neishtot and neighboring town Vainutas were forced to dig a big hole, to strip naked, and were murdered by Lithuanian collaborator policemen in the valley of Siaudviciai. Trucks of Jews from Pajuris, Shvekshna, Verzhan (Veivirzenai), Riteve (Rietava), Chveidan (Kvedarna) and Laukuva were brought to this site also. All were shot and buried there. More Jews from other towns were brought to the Heidekrug camp. Many of their acquaintances and friends among the S.S. ignored the Neishot Jews. Hard work, hunger, and abuse were the standard. The women in the ghetto worked for peasants in the vicinity. Rrobably on September 25, the ten men and all the women and children were taken to Siaudviciai and murdered there. The Jewish men were kept in the Heidekrug camp for more then two years. Athough some were murdered by the Germans throughout, at the end of July 1943 those still alive were transferred to Auschwitz where 99 of them, including some of Neishtot's Jews, were sent to the crematorium. In October 1943, thousands of men, among them the survivors of Neishtot, were transferred to Warsaw, where they worked to clear the debris of the ruined ghetto. Conditions were so bad that typhus broke out and many died. When the battle front approached Warsaw in summer 1944, some were sent to a camp near Dachau. Others were left to work in explosive blasting. Only a few of Neishtot's Jews left in Warsaw were eventually freed by the Red Army. The others, who had been sent to Bavaria, were freed by the American Army. Only seven Neishot Jews survived. The Berelowitz family, who escaped to Russia at the beginning of the war, returned to Neishtot after the war. During the night of May 11 and 12, 1946 their houses were blown up by Lithuanian nationalists. The mother, daughter, son, and another were killed. Shlomo Berelowitz, who fought with the Red Army in freeing Lithuania from the Nazis, was severely injured. The murderer testified at his trial that he killed the Jews because he could not tolerate Jews were returning to Neishtot and settling again.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 October 2010 13:20