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Holocaust Research

A Brief History of Troskunai (From the databases of the Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, Tel Aviv, Israel)

In 1897 there were 779 Jews in Trashkon, 78% of the general population. In the summer of 1915 during World War I (1914-1918), the Jews were exiled into central Russia, their houses were destroyed and their possessions looted. After the war most of them returned to Trashkon and rebuilt their houses.

There were two synagogues in Trashkon, one of the last officiating rabbi of the community. Rabbi Schneur Reznikovitz known in the surrounding villages as "the holy one" (hakadosh) was venerated by Jews and gentiles alike.

During the period of Lithuania's independence (between the two world wars) the community had a school and a library. Most of the young people were in the Zionist movement "Hehalutz" or in the "Socialistic Zionists".

The Jews of Trashkon made a living in trade, artisanship and gardening. A wine distillery was in Jewish hands. Thursday was the weekly market day. The Jewish bank had 96 members in 1929; its director for many years was Rabbi Moshe Yakov Shmukler.

Prior to World War II there were about 120 Jewish families in Trashkon.

The Holocaust Period

After the outbreak of World War II (September 1, 1939) and the conquest of Poland by the Germans, Lithuania came under soviet rule at the end of summer 1940 was annexed by the Soviet Union.

After the German attack on the Soviet Union (June 22, 1941) and before the Germans entered Lithuania, a locally organized band of nationalistic Lithuanians took over the town. A Jew was murdered in the street and a Jewish woman was murdered in her home. Jewish homes were looted by Lithuanian gangs. When the Germans entered the town they published the location of their houses and sent them to live in a poor neighborhood. Gangs of young Lithuanians harassed young Jewish people, their former neighbors and murdered them in the Jewish cemetery. There were Jews who resisted the gangs and urged other Jews to do so too. They paid for it with their lives.

On August 21-22, 1941, all the Trashkon Jews were taken to Pajuoste near Ponevezh, the killing field of all the Jews in the region. On August 23 all of them were murdered and buried in a mass grave in Pajuoste.

After the war the survivors of the community erected a memorial for the Pajuoste victims with an inscription in Russian and Yiddish. In Trashkon itself the authorities permitted the erection of a memorial and under pressure allowed an inscription only in Lithuanian, not mentioning that the victims were Jews.

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Last update by DU 23 January 2010

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