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The Memorial Website to the destroyed Shtetl of:

above: official stamp used by the Jewish Authorities (Va'ad HaKehila or Council)





(in Yiddish)



(in Lithuanian)


North-Western Lithuania

56.20N 22.20E






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

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 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 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.


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

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


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.



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 to 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…



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.JPG (607225 bytes)

Rock with memorial plaque in front of the Old Mazeikiai Cemetery

(picture: courtesy Gilda and Bob Kurtzman)

Maz. Mass grave.JPG (627785 bytes)

The Holocaust Memorial and 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)

F002 - Lithuania - Mazeikiai -  Memorial for Jewish Vict~332.jpg (954780 bytes)

rock with memorial plaque ~ Old Mazeikiai Cemetery visible behind the fence

(picture: courtesy Stan Ravinsky)

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.
Road Sign
(courtesy: Benzi Kahana)
It is universally clear that this site bears witness to the unbearable fate of our beloved families. Continued ...

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

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Webmaster and contact person:
Raymond Ravinsky :

co-Webmasters: Ilan Ganot
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 :

Compiled by Raymond Ravinsky
Updated: September 2019
Copyright © 2009 Raymond Ravinsky

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