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Shavl - שאַװל

Šiauliai, Lithuania

55°56' N, 23°19' E

Other names: Shavl, Shavli, Schaulen, Szawle, Šauļi, Schavli, Shaulyai, Shawli, Shiaulai, Silaliai, Šiaulių

This website collects information about the Jewish community of Šiauliai, Lithuania, known as Shavl in Yiddish. The community numbered almost 10,000 out of about 17,000 in 1902. At this period, it was already the 3rd most populous city in Lithuania, lying at a major road and railway junction. It was known for its leather industry, and was home to the biggest leather factory in the Russian Empire (owned by Chaim Freinkl). In 1915 the entire Jewish community was expelled by order of the Tsar, but many returned again when allowed to do so in the early 20's. The community was decimated during the Shoah: of 8,000 Jews still living in Shavl in 1941, only 500 survived. Only a handful of Jews remain there today.

Join the Jewish Ancestry from Shavl group on facebook!


Anecdotal material

  • Family Histories and photos (please feel free to contribute)
  • Selected excerpts about Shavl from "Adventures of Life" the memoir of Pauline Podlashuk, born in Shavl in 1881, up to and including her last visit in 1923.
  • Through the Eye of the Needle, the memoir of Meyer Kron, born in Shavl in 1905 and describing life there including the German occupation, his daring escape, and life under the Soviet occupation
  • What Makes Babey Run?, the memoir of Babey Widutschinsky-Trepman, born in Shavl in August, 1924 and describing life under the German occupation and in the concentration camps


  • Coordinates: 55°56' N, 23°19' E
  • 26 miles NE of Kelme (Kelm)
  • 42 miles WNW of Panevėžys (Ponevezh)
  • 74.9 miles NNW of Kaunas (Kovno)
  • 116.7 miles NW of Vilnius (Vilna)

View Šiauliai via OpenStreetMap

View Šiauliai via Google Maps

Click on the image to view an 1882 map of Russia's Baltic Provinces.

Information about the different districts, countries the town belonged at different periods in its history may be found here.


JewishGen Family Finder

The JGFF is a database of towns and surnames currently being researched by Jewish genealogists worldwide.  Click the "Search the JGFF" button to find others researching family connections to Siauliai.  Click here to add your own information or learn more about the JGFF database.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

  • The Washington, D.C. museum has a database of documents you can search for references to Siauliai. Click here to learn about the museum and its archives.

This page is hosted at no cost to the public by JewishGen, Inc., a non-profit corporation. If you feel there is a benefit to you in accessing this site, your JewishGen-erosity is appreciated.

If you have comments about this page, contact Assaf Urieli or the ShtetLinks project coordinators.

Compiled by Assaf Urieli
Updated 27 January 2014
Copyright ©2014 Assaf Urieli.  
This material may not be used for commercial purposes.