Gargzdai (Gorzd), Lithuania

Notes Regarding Old Photograph of Jewish Cemetery

Yehudat Lita (Lithuanian Jewry: Its History in Pictures) (Jerusalem: Moss Harav Kook, 1959), shows a picture of a cemetery in "Gruzd," p. 167. This picture appears in a less clear version in the Gorzd Memorial Book, on page 78 [Image 423] (English section) (posted online by the New York Public Library).

The photo appears in the Siauliai section of Yehudat Lita, and may indicate conflation of the towns Gruzdziai (n. of Siauliai) and Gorzd.

Translator Barry Marks, working from the clearer version in Yehudat Lita, reports:

"The stone three to the right of the man standing in the photo appears to be the grave of "the worthy and dear woman Rivka the daughter of Dov Krop". It looks like she might have a middle name but I can't make it out. She died in Kislev (or perhaps on Yom Kippur) in what looks like 5682 (1921). Dov might be Leib -hard to tell but her father's name does end in a "v" or "b". Most of the stones have the standard abbreviations - p'n' at the top for "poh nikbar" "here lies" and t'n'tz'v'h' at the bottom "tehi nishmata tzrurah bitzror hachayim" "may her soul be bound up in the bond of life.

"The stone to the right of that one with the star of David has the words "this is the monument of the burial of" forming an arch. It is the grave of "our dear mother Gitl the daughter of Benjamin" and the last name looks to be Aronov.

"The low stone two to the right of that one is for Dvorah the daughter of Aharon Katz."

A correspondent who has visited the Gruzdziai cemetery reports that the cemetery lies on flat terrain. Because the photograph appears to show a hill, the correspondent is inclined to think the photo does not show Gruzdziai.

The Tax and Voters list at the JewishGen Lithuania Database has a number of "Orenov" entries for Gruzdziai, as well as other towns, but no similar name in Gargzdai.

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Copyright 2006 John S. Jaffer