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Rēzekne, Latvia

Rēzekne [Latvian], Rositten [German], Rezhitsa [Russian],
Rezitza or "Rezhitse" [Yiddish רעזיצע],  Rzeżyca [Polish],
Rėzeknė [Lithuanian], Räisaku [Estonian], Reica, Ryezhitsa
Lat: 56.5°, Long: 27.32°, Altitude 138 m (452 ft),
Time Zone UTC+2 (+3DT)

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rezekne map

Contents of This Site Include

Map TeaserWe have prepared a map with the locations of the significant places in Rezekne identified. This includes the America area where Jewish families lived, the Jewish Cemetery, the Mass Grave Burial Sites, the Green Synagogue and many more. Go to the Maps link find out where things were and are today.

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jewish shopsJewish shops lined the main street of Rezekne in the 1920s. These are all gone today. There are several accounts of the Jewish History of Rezekne. Visit the Index of Articles page for a guide to those pages. There are several excellent articles in this section.

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pass family in latviaJewish Families and Genealogy  section of where you can read the sad and wonderful stories of our Jewish Families of Rēzekne. The lead page gives a brief summary of each contribution. People from around the world contributed to this section. See if your own family is mentioned. These stories and family trees are a wonderful source of genealogical information. The  GORDIN History by Tela Zasloff is a 95 page book including many photos. Horwitz Families of Rezekne article attempts to link together most the people with that family name in Rezekne. It is an extensive family tree. Do not miss David Michaelson's very personal and moving story of how he became the force behind the restoration of the Green Synagogue in his personal family history.

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holocaust memorialMonument that rests in the Jewish Cemetery in Rēzekne today noting the tragedy of the Holocaust in Rezekne. There were several different locations in the Rezekne area where Jews were humiliated and murdered by Nazis and overzealous local police. The locations are identified, the stories are told. There are photos, maps, and eyewitness descriptions. The following links have more information about the Holocaust, Mass Burial Sites, and the World War II Destruction. Holocaust (Shoa)Maps, and Cemeteries.  World War II.

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old cemetery entranceCemeteries in Rezekne and New York. The Jewish Cemetery in Rezekne is still in use and many old headstones are toppled over and are in poor condition. There is some restoration work being done. The New York cemetery is party of the Rezekne Cemetery Association in New York. Go to the following links to find out more and see the photographs of many headstones with translations into English in both cemeteries.  CemeteriesNew York Tombstones, and  Rezekne Tombstones. We have included the tombstones photographed and translated under the direction of Christine Usdin ZL.

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ruins and cathedralRezekne is an ancient city going back to the 9th century. There are many photographs and articles at the Town History and Land Marks page. We also have a wonderful Collection of Old Postcards and Photographs as well as photographs taken inside the Rezekne Museum. You can see where these places are located by going to the Maps link.

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jewish community 
      todayThis is a glimpse of what remains of a once vibrant Jewish community in Rezekne. Once there were 11 synagogues and the town was 2/3 Jewish. Now there are a handful of Jewish people. are only a handful of people in the Jewish community and one lonely dilapidated Synagogue:the Green Synagogue. This is in a town that boasts of its beautiful churches that show off some of it's religious past. To find out more about what is left of Jewish Rezekne today use the link Rezekne Today. Also check out the link to Pictures Index. Visit the Green Synagogue link for an update on its status.

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dave and
        city signSome of us have gone back for a visit to see what it is like today. There are many photos from the America area where Jewish families lived over a hundred years ago. You can see their big yards and out buildings. Go to the Link: Rezekne Today and visit our page of photographs at Recent Visits and Modern Views.

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Note in Uniform Nathan Horwitz served in the Russian army. Jews were forced to serve and many times had to serve for many years before they could return to their homes. Notte was sent off to fight in the Russo-Japanese War that lasted from 8 February 1904 to 5 September 1905. Notte's father would see the red sunrise and say it was Notte's blood and he would never return. Listen to his younger sister tell the story of his surprise return to Rezekne and how the Jewish town stayed up all night to celebrate his return. Oral family history link.