for  information about remaining graves in Kupiskis
for information about Kupiskis burials in metropolitan New York

Holocaust Memorial in the Freethinkers Cemetery


Photo and comments from Robin Esrock, who visited Kupiskis in the fall of 2007.

At the Freethinkers Cemetery just a few hundred metres from the town center, over 1000 Jews were murdered. A recent memorial honours them. What struck me is how close it was to the town: the gun shots must have rattled windows - nobody could claim they didn't know it was going on.




(Photos courtesy of Ellen Stepak)



The Tombstone of Abraham, son of David, from the remains of the Jewish cemetery in Kupiskis


(Photo courtesy of Linda Cantor)

The Mystery Tombstone of a Kupishoker

by Ann Rabinowitz

I had been told that there was  a tombstone in the Saltoniskiu Cemetery in Vilnius, which stated that the person was from Kupiskis.  Upon visiting the cemetery in person with forty-seven other Kupishokers on July 14, 2005, we stopped at the grave of the Vilna Gaon and I asked everyone to look around and see if they could find this mysterious Kupishoker.

Sure enough, Vered Reiter, the daughter of Alec Meyer, found the tombstone which was to the left of the Gaon's tomb, a location of honor.

The tombstone states:

Our Dear Mother
The Modest Woman
Esther Gittel 
daughter of Reb Zeev Katz z"l from Kupishok
Died 8th Nissan 5712        14 July 1952

After numerous attempts to identify Esther-Gittel failed, I put aside my research on her until recently when I once again looked in the Kupiskis records and found an Esther-Gittel whose father was Zeev.  However, she was Esther-Gittel Cadovich and she married Josel-Vulf ben Iankel Katz.  It seemed that Esther-Gittel's father wasn't Reb Zeev Katz, but Reb Zeev Cadovich.  There had been a mix-up on the tombstone.

Further, I found that Esther-Gittel was sister of Kupiskis SIG member Haidee Reingold’s mother Lina Cadowitz.  In addition, I was contacted by Tuvia Kessel who remembered the day she died.  She was the sister of Yontel Cadovich, Tuvia's grandfather.  He mentioned that her husband Josel-Vulf Katz was buried not far from her. Due to the poor condition of his tombstone, one cannot see that "Kupiskis" is also noted there.

Esther-Gittel and Josel-Vulf Katz had six children: Judel and Jack who immigrated to Cape Town before World War II, twins Berl and Chana and Rocka and Hodel, all four emigrating to Israel.  The last two were like mothers to Tuvia and his two sisters when they came to Vilnius in 1947.

Now, Esther-Gittel Cadovich Katz has a proper family history and relatives and is a mystery no more.

(Photo courtesy of Fay Trapido Morris)


Mount of Olives burial in Jerusalem, Israel:

Roska (רוסקא), a female, born in Kupiskis, Lithuania, and died on November 21, 1867, buried Cemetery Section 10, Row 7, Grave 34.

(courtesy of Ann Rabinowitz)

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