MMWS

Mazheik Memorial Website

 

 

 

The Memorial Website to the Destroyed Shtetl of Mazeikiai

מאזייק
(Mazheik / Mozheik)

(in Yiddish)

Mazeikiai
(in Lithuanian)

 

מז'ייק
(in Hebrew)

 

Telšiai County, North-Western Lithuania, coordinates: 56.20°N 22.20°E

This website is dedicated to the Blessed Memory of the Mazheik Shtetl and its
inhabitants, who were murdered in August 1941.

Official stamp used by the Jewish Authorities (Va'ad HaKehila or Council)

Header of an official document related to Mazeikiai,
issued by the Ministry of Jewish Affairs in Kaunas (Kovna) during the period of 1920-23

Official stamp used by the
Mazeikiai Rabbinate

The webmasters of the Mazheik Memorial Website are deeply sorrowful
following the passing away of our dear friend and partner
Ben-Zion (Benzi) Kahana z"l at the age of 75 years.

Benzi (1944 - 2019) was co-founder and dedicated co-webmaster of the
Mazheik Memorial Website. He made significant contributions to the
development and maintenance of the website, taking part in
conserving and commemorating the community of our ancestors.

On behalf of all descendants of the Mazheik Shtetl,
we offer our sincere condolences to the mourning family.

Main Changes and Updates to the Website
September 2019

The webmasters would like to express their deep appreciation to
Barbara Ellman & Susana Leistner Bloch, of JewishGen Kehilalinks,
and to volunteer richie baum, for their guidance and support.

Seventy Years since the Massacre of Mazheik Jewry
1941 - 2011

Seventy years have passed since the depraved massacre of our Loved Ones.
We can never forget those horror-filled days, in which our ancestors were slain.
Germans and Lithuanians were ruthless and merciless.
The evil and hell were more terrible than would seem humanly possible to contemplate.
Yet the murderers were capable of this.
They carried it out.

On the 10th of the Hebrew month Av, August 3rd 1941 in the Gregorian calendar,
and again on the 16th day of Av, August 9th 1941,
most of the men, women and children of Mazheik and surrounding areas
were shot and buried in a mass grave. Some were buried alive.
All suffered unspeakable anguish and torment.

We honour their memory. It lives on. Their souls are eternal.
May they rest in peace.

Geography:

Mazeikiai is located on the Venta River, in the north-western part of Lithuania, approximately 10 km. from the Latvian border.

Mazeikiai is situated at the junction of the Libau (Liepaja) - Romny and Riga-Oriol train lines.

More:

Town History:

The town of Mazeikiai was founded by the Duke of Zemaiciai Mazeika.

Until the 2nd half of the 19th century, Mazeikiai was a small village or hamlet, with a population of some tens of inhabitants, mostly farmers.

The settlement grew with the laying of the Libau (Liepaja)  - Romny rail line in 1868 and the Mazeikiai – Riga line in 1872/4.

One of the railway stops was located at the crossing of three roads from Vieksniai, Leckava and Tirksliai, and it was named after a small farm whose master was Mazeika. This was the way how Mazeikiai was named.

More:


Morawjewo (Mazeikiai)
Railway Station
before 1918

Jewish Community History:

Settlement of Jews in Mazeikiai began during the 1870’s, simultaneously with the flourishing development of transportation and commerce… 

During World War I (1915), Mazeikiai Jews, together with most of the Jews of Lithuania and Courland, were exiled to inner Russia and the Ukraine. Most of the town was set on fire and destroyed.

Following the end of World War I, Jewish community life began to return and develop, resulting in the establishment of various community organizations.

During the era of Independent Lithuania, the Jewish community of Mazeikiai enjoyed relative autonomy, under the supervision of the Office for Jewish Affairs of the Lithuanian Government…

More:


Rare Old Wooden Structure
the former Jewish School
building

(picture : courtesy Benzi Kahana)

The Holocaust:

Following the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, the Soviets invaded Lithuania in 1940.

The Germans entered the town on Wednesday, June 25, 1941.

Jewish life in Mazeikiai came to an end with the mass killings of the men on Sunday, August 3rd 1941 - 10th of Av 5701 (actual day of 9th Av fast, delayed from Shabbat to Sunday) and the women on Saturday, August 9th 1941 - 16th of Av 5701.

(See The Holocaust and The Martyrs of Mazeikiai)

 

Sign at M. cemetery
Rock with memorial plaque
in front of the Old
Mazeikiai Cemetery

(picture: courtesy Gilda and Bob Kurtzman)

Maz. Mass grave
Holocaust Memorial
& mass grave
next to the old
Mazeikiai Cemetery

(courtesy Gilda and Bob Kurtzman)

Monday 18-8-2008 - 113
The site of the mass killing at Mazeikiai
(picture: courtesy Benzi Kahana)

Memorial for Jewish Vict
rock with memorial plaque
old Mazeikiai Cemetery
visible behind the fence

(picture: courtesy Stan Ravinsky)

Road Sign
(courtesy: Benzi Kahana)

This site is dedicated to the Jewish Life that Mazeikiai was once home to. From eye-witness reports, we know that ~ save a handful of old wooden houses ~ nothing is left of what once was a vibrant hub of Jewish life in the Shtetl. There are reported to have been 1,000 Jewish souls in Mazeikiai prior to the fateful days of July and August 1941. Today, on the outskirts of the town, there is a road-sign near a path leading into the thick woods. It states "ZYDU GENOCIDO AUKU VIETA". Though in the Lithuanian language, this hardly requires translation.

 

It is universally clear that this site bears witness to the unbearable fate of our beloved families.
Continued...

 

Research:

This website includes material collected over the years from different internet sources (mostly JewishGen, YIVO Archives, and LitvakSig), different archives, literature, and eyewitness accounts.
List of links to external sites

Most information relating to Mazheik's Jewish families (including detailed name lists) is included on the following pages:

Click the button to show all entries in the
JewishGen Lithuanian Database for Mažeikiai

Webmaster and contact person:
Raymond Ravinsky:
rrrainbows1111@gmail.com

Ilan Ganot  ilang12350@gmail.com
Benzi Kahana z"l (1944 - 2019)

 

 

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. Kindly link to : https://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen-erosity/

Compiled by Raymond Ravinsky
Updated: November 2019
Copyright © 2009 Raymond Ravinsky
Link to : KehilaLinks Directory
https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/

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