Gargzdai (Gorzd), Lithuania

Karte des Deutschen Reiches (1921 - 1929)
Einheitsblatt Nr. 1
Memel - Heydekrug

Scale in Meters (1000m = .62 miles)
Scale = 1:100,000

Arrow Symbol
Blue Synagogue
Purple Catholic Cemetery
Yellow Catholic Church
Red Evangelical Church
Green Jewish Cemetery

This map series has symbols showing churches, synagogues, and cemeteries, which are identified here by colored arrows.

For further information about the Synagogue, see Aerial Photo of Marketplace and Destroyed Synagogue and Note- Buildings of the Religious Community.

About seventy tombstones or fragments remain in the Jewish Cemetery. The map legend explains the symbol as Friedhof für Nichtchristen = cemetery for non-Christians.

The Evangelical Church burned down in the 1939 fire which destroyed much of Gargzdai, and was not rebuilt.

Rebuilding of the Catholic Church was completed in 1998.

Descriptive words and symbols on map:

     Gut = estate
     Bhf. = Bahnhof = Train Station
     Kord. = (?) Kordon = line of military posts (Heath's German Dictionary, 1906)
     Vw. = Vorwerk = outbuilding
     Z.-A. = Zoll-Amt = customs office
     Zgl. = Ziegelei = brickyard

  Symbol     Explanation on Map Legend
  Church with one steeple
  Mixed forest (needle and leaf)
  Meadow and pasture with shrubs
  Narrow-gauge railroad

Map at Larger Magnification

Map Alterations After 1929

By 1936, some examples of this map series Karte des Deutschen Reiches had switched to Lithuanian spellings for the town names on the Lithuanian side of the old border. The Polish spelling "Gorżdy" became the Lithuanian "Garg˛dai." The later maps also used a more prominent style of dotted line for the old border, even when lands on both sides belonged to Lithuania. There were no other apparent changes to this portion of the map.

ca. 1936

Curiously, even as late as June, 1941 (the month of the German invasion of the Soviet Union), this map series failed to note two important changes on the ground: (a) the direct route across the border bypassing the "dogleg" to Laugallen, and (b) the direct route from the town center to the bridge over the Minija River.

Karte des Deutschen Reiches - June, 1941

A similar obsolete depiction of the roads within Gargzdai is shown in the US Army Topographic, 1944 at mapywig:

US Army topo 1944

The new direct route from the town center to the bridge had been constructed in 1937. Both changes were shown in the Lithuanian Army Topographic Map in 1938.

Gargzdai main page

Copyright © 2002 - 2019 John S. Jaffer