University of Vilnius

The History Faculty

The Department of Contemporary History

Ruta Puisyte

Holocaust in Jurbarkas

The Mass Extermination of Jews of Jurbarkas in the Provinces of Lithuania during the German Nazi Occupation

 

B.A. Thesis

 

Tutor: Prof. M. Subas (Shub)

Head of the Center of Judaic Studies

 

Vilnius 1997

 


Copyrighted © 1998 by Joel Alpert

May be used for genealogical purposes only

If you have further information, please e-mail Joel Alpert..

Copyright © 1998 by Joel Alpert | Created July 14, 1998

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Translated into English by Joseph Rosin (Haifa, 1998)

 

Maps and photos of the roadside memorials were not in the original document.


Preface by Professor Mejeris Subas (Meyer Shub)

 

 

In 1941-1943 the Lithuanian Jewish Community, which had existed in Lithuania for centuries, was struck by a catastrophe never experienced before in world history: the community was cruelly massacred by the Nazis and their local collaborators. Only the graves, a handful of the living and a never-fading memory remained. Though more than half a century has passed since this horrible catastrophe, historians in Lithuania still have not conducted research into how and when such a regional community was destroyed. From this prospective, Ruta Puisyte's bachelor's thesis on the massacres of the community of Jurbarkas is the first attempt to fill this void. The author was not driven merely by scientific interest. She is a young and talented Lithuanian historian, whose conscience demanded that she reveal one of the bitterest truths in Lithuania's mid-century history.

 

One outstanding feature of this thesis is that the author details not only the dates and the places of massacres, but she also names the victims, their executioners, and those righteous Lithuanians who saved Jews.

 

I hope that the English translation of the paper will be useful to those people all around the world who carry out investigations of the Holocaust.

 

Professor Mejeris Subas

Head of the Center for Judaic Studies

The University of Vilnius


Preface by Professor Dov Levin

 

As a person who has learned from his own personal experience about the massacre of the Lithuanian Jewry, fortunate to arrive to Eretz-Israel in 1945, and actually take part in the establishment of the State of Israel and for tens of years has been engaged in researching Lithuanian Jewry and its annihilation, I have a particular interest in presenting to the "Litvaks" (Lithuanian Jews and their descendants) and the general public the important work of Miss Ruta Puisyte. Her thesis was completed to fulfull the requirements of her Baccalurate degree under the guidance of my longtime colleague Professor Mejeris Subas (Meyer Shub), Head of The Center of Judaic Studies of the Vilnius University. Miss Puisyte systematically reviewed the history of the Jewish Community of Jurbarkas (Jurburg, Lithuania) and in particular its terrible fate during the Holocaust. She also precisely documented the names of the murderers. Her findings not only reveal her patience and the arduous work needed to collect data from a variety of sources, but the work also displays her objectivity in documenting the horrific details describing the cruelty and murders perpetrated on the Jews. In the social reality of present-day Lithuania she also exhibited a great deal of personal courage, integrity and bravery to reveal, by name, those who were the murderers. Therefore this work has a greater significance than it's scientific merit because it can serve as a model to others to also seek and report the truth intelligently and with integrity. As a consequence of this thesis it is clear that it would not be an exageration to say that such work merits respect and dignity to the Vilnius University which is striving to earn its place among the other research institutions in the western world.

 

It is my honour and pleasure to thank my good friend Joseph Rosin who volunteered to translate this book from Lithuanian into English to enable the English-speaking population all over the world access to its contents. Mr. Rosin was also my assistant in editing the Encyclopedia of the Lithuanian Jewish Communities (Pinkas haKehilloth. Lita, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 1996) which also served as a primary source to Miss Puisyte in preparing her thesis.

Jerusalem, June 1998-Sivan 5658

 

Professor Dov Levin

Head of the Oral History of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Contents

 

Introduction.

1. The economic, social and cultural life of the Jews of Jurbarkas in Lithuania (1918 - June 1941).

2. The mass extermination of the Jews in Jurbarkas.

(June 1941 - September 1941)

2.1 Events in June 1941.

2.2 Events in July 1941.

2.3 Events in August 1941.

2.4 Events in September 1941.

2.5 The Jewish Ghetto in Jurbarkas.

3. The fate of the Jewish survivors of Jurbakas in Lithuania after the June - September 1941 Events.

Conclusions.

Bibliography.

Appendices.

Footnotes.


A few comments on the English translation:

1. All the books and articles mentioned in this thesis were written in Lithuanian except The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Communities in Lithuania (Pinkas haKehiloth Lita) which was written in Hebrew.

2. All the Jewish names mentioned in this thesis were written without the Lithuanian endings in the English translation. and spelled as they were pronounced in Yiddish

3. I thank my friends Sarah and Mordechai Kopfstein for helping to translate this thesis.

J.Rosin


Text added by Joel Alpert in further editing for clarification is contained in {brackets}.

J. Alpert


Location of Yurburg

 


The Mass Graves

Mass Graves in Yurburg - Photo by Gerrard W. Rudmin - June 1998

Mass Graves in Yurburg - Photo by Gerrard W. Rudmin - June 1998


For our sister -
Reizele Berzaner  1924-1941-
And for her two dear friends-
You will forever be in our hearts-
  With love   Dina'le and Mute

For our sister -

Raizale Berzaner 1924-1941-

And for her two dear friends-

You will forever be in our hearts-

With love Dina'le and Mute

 

At the Site of the Mass Graves in Yurburg Cemetery in June 1998 - Photo by Gerrard W. Rudmin

 


Introduction

2.2 Events in July 1941

2.3 Events in August 1941

2.4. Events in September 1941

2.5.The Jewish Ghetto in Jurbarkas

Conclusions

List of Sources and Literature

Appendix Number 1

Appendix Number 2

Appendix Number 3


If you have further information, please e-mail Joel Alpert.