Lat: 48° 29', Long: 22° 50'
- Rasseiniai - (R)
Where once we walked
Niemokst Street, Raseiniai Circa 1908
The provincial capital of “Raseiniai,” or “Raseyn,” lies
on the bank of the river Raseykah, 8 kilometers from the Dubysa, near the communities of Girtigula
(10 km.), Namukesht (25 km.), Kolm (55 km.), and Shidlova (15 km.), and the nearest train station in
Shilovka is 12km.
There were were no paved roads leading to Raseyn until
the Kovno-Raseyn-Memel highway was built in 1936.
Raseyn is one of
the oldest cities in Lithuania and appears in records of the 13th and 14th centuries under different
names, including Rushigen, Rossyen, and Rasseyne. In 1253 Prince Mindaugas ceded one part of the Zamut
territory, including some of the district around Raseyn, to the Livonian Order of Christian knights, and
the rest to the first bishop of Lithuania, Kristyan. From this area the Livonian order began to spread
Christianity, and this led to bloody warfare in the area.
The Jewish community of Raseyn was among the first to be
established in Lithuania, and the city became known as the Jerusalem of Zamut. Jews continued to
settle there in large numbers throughout the 17th century.
In 1842 the city had 7,455 inhabitants, the majority of
whom were Jews. By 1897 the number of Jewish inhabitants reached 9,000 (90% of the general
population). Their number decreased after WWI. In 1926 only 2,226 Jews lived in Raseyn, and in 1939,
about 2,000 (40% of the general population).
The Jews lived mainly by means of commerce. There were
25 handworkers and a few farmers. Besides two flour mills and a sawmill (owned by Perlov and Kagan),
the city had no industry, and most Jews lived from the market days (Monday and
In 1929 504 members belonged to the Jewish popular bank. There were about 10
synagogues in the town, among them the “big” synagogue and house of study, as well as the congregations
called, “The Khosid,” “The Life of a Human Being,” “Eyn Yakov,” and “The
For more of
the history of the village see our page on history.
This map shows the 7 Uyezds (Districts) of Kovno Guberniya (Province) in the 19th
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