Remains of Kupiskis Cemetery

Kupiskis, Lithuania

Photo and words by Robin Esrock:

The Russians bulldozed the old Jewish cemetery and built a water tower. This is also the location where 2700 Jews from Kupashik and the surrounding areas were murdered and buried in mass graves. It is located near the very heart of the town.

Photo of the Kupiskis Jewish Cemetery in 1910 from an amazing Facebook site with hundreds of photos from Lithuanian towns.  Its not clear which of the two old Jewish cemeteries this is but it is the only picture that we presently have of either.




The fifteen tombstones that are presently located in the Kupiskis cemetery are a small remainder of what was originally there. In fact, there were actually two cemeteries with one going back, at least, three hundred years. The original cemeteries survived the Holocaust, but were destroyed by the Russians in the 1970's. The existing tombstones were found and placed in the cemetery in the last few years.

During a trip to Kupiskis in 1994, Debby Myers went to the cemetery and found her great grandparents, Motte Hesse and Gitel Joffe. Following that, a transcription of the fifteen tombstones in the Kupiskis cemetery was completed by Linda Cantor and Regina Kopelevich during Linda's visit to Kupiskis in July, 1995. In May, 2001, Saul Adelman visited Kupiskis with Regina Kopelevich and again transcribed all the tombstones with the addition of the month and day of death. Since the tombstones did not contain the last names of the deceased, it was a dilemma to try and figure out who they belonged to.

Given the arrival of the translated Kupiskis Pre-1920 death records in 2001, Ann Rabinowitz was able to match the tombstones to the death records,  where there was a death record. This was particularly accurate as the death records had the day and month of death. This provided the last names for eight out of the fifteen tombstones. In addition, Ann added the year of death where missing, date of birth based on the age at death and/or date of death, whether there was a death record or not, and comments on why there wasn't a record or which family the deceased belonged to.

A major reason seven of the tombstones remain a unknown is that there is no record for their particular year of death.  For example, the death records do not go back to 1864, and there are no records for 1903 and 1919. There are records for 1898, but not one for the name given on the tombstone.

Two of the tombstones will have to remain a mystery for now. One was a general monument stone and the other was for an Eliahu, a poetic stone, partially buried.

Please contact either Ann Rabinowitz or Linda Cantor to provide further information if you have it.




Photo of the tombstone of
Eliezer Bedil, who passed away in 1919,  taken just before the family left Kupiskis in 1929 for South Africa.  This is one of the many tombstones in the Kupishok Jewish Cemetery that were destroyed by the Soviets in the 1970's.

 

 

 (photos courtesy of Brenda Bedil Chesler)


Photo of the tombstone of
Zlate Shmidt Bedil born 1885, the wife of Eliezer Bedil.  Her tombstone was also destroyed in the 1970's.

The translated inscription, courtesy of Michael Pertain, reads:  "Our precious mother, the crown on our heads, the worthy woman, Mrs. Zlate Bedil, daughter of  Rav Elchanan Shmidt, who died with a good name on the 2nd day of the month of Teveth, Tav Resh Zadik Gimel, December 30, 1932.

Click on first name to see photo of the grave  (Photos courtesy of Ellen Stepak)

 

Family Name

First Name

Fatherís name

Date of Death

Birth

Records

Notes

A1

GENERAL STONE

 

 

 

 

 

No records.

B1

BUNAS

Chaim Leib

Abraham Aaron

1923, 23 Adar

1867

Death

 

B2

GLEZER

Cheina

Eliezer

1908, 22 Tammuz

1832

Death

 

B3

 

Isser

Israel Ha Levi

1898, 23 Tevet

 

None

No records for this name in this year.

C1

 

Yaakov Zev

Jonah

1919, 10 Sivan

 

None

No records for this year.

C2

 

Pesia

Avraham Itzhak

1919, 2 Adar

 

None

No records for this year.

C3

OSHRY

Elka

Chaim

1881, 9 Nisan

1826

Death

Husband was Itsko Oshry

D1

 

Avraham

David

1864, ? Tishrei

 

None

No records for this year.

D2

IOFFE

Mordechai Heshel

Shlomo

1910, 4 Elul

1836

Death

GGF Debby Myers

D3

IOFFE

Gitel

Henoch

1909, 4 Tammuz

1837

Death

GGM Debby Myers

E1

LEVIN

Aizik

Yehuda

1897, 7 Adar

1846

Death

 

F1

 

Eliahu

 

 

 

None

Not enough information to match.

F2

KURLIANTSIK

Zeev

Moshe

1883, ?

1821

Death

 

F3

SEMER

Abram

Eliash

1892, ? Av

1882

Death

 

G1

 

Chana Fruma

Yehiel

1903, 2 Sivan

 

None

No records for this year.

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Copyright Kupiskis SIG, 2014