Yisker-bukh fun Rakishok un Umgegnt Extras

Supplementary Materials Associated With JewishGen’s English Translation of the

Rokiskis and Environs Yizkor Book

 Introduction by Philip Shapiro

In 1952, the Rakishker Landsmanshaft of Johannesburg published the 626-page Yiddish-language Yizk-bukh fun Rakishok un umgegnt (Memorial Book for Rokiskis and its Environs). A copy of the original book can be seen at

Over the course of more than two decades, JewishGen’s Yizkor Book Project (“YBP”), under the leadership of Tim Baker, led an effort to translate the book into English.  The translation was completed in 2016 and is posted at 

The YBP decided that when the book was fully translated it would publish the English translation in book form with a supplement of relevant materials about the Rokiskis-area communities that were not available to the Rakishker Landsmanshaft in 1952.  In the fall of 2016, Joel Alpert, the editor of the YBP’s “book-in-print” program, asked Philip Shapiro, whose ancestors lived in the Rokiskis area, and Philip’s wife Aldona, who is a native of Lithuania’s “highlands” region, to identify possible materials for inclusion in the supplement and, where necessary, secure the necessary copyright approvals. 

From October 2016 until April 2017, Philip and Aldona contacted numerous archives, museums, libraries, historians, and individuals searching for images, documents, and original family histories that could be included in the supplement.  Additionally, very high priority was given to creating the most comprehensive list possible of the Jews from the Rokiskis area who were victims of the Holocaust, a task which was undertaken by Barry Mann. 

Since the book version of the translation and supplement could only show images in black-and-white, some color images that could not be understood in black-and-white format were not included in the printed version.  Other color images were included but lost some of their vibrancy when printed in black-and-white format.  Fortunately, JewishGen’s KehilaLinks website for Rokiskis can present of all of the collected materials in their original appearance.

In the (2017) printed version of the English translation, the table of contents for the supplementary materials appears on page 658.  The following modified table of contents lists the full set of supplementary materials, shown in the order of their presentation here.

yb cover

Photographs and Images 

Appendix Page/printed version
Items in italic text did not appear in the printed version. Click on the link to see them.
1953 Article About the Rokiškis Yizkor Book   
1916 Ethnic Composition of the Kovna Gubernya  
Towns App A - 1
     Abel / Obeliai App A - 1
     Kamai/Kamajai App A - 6
     Ponedel / Pandėlys App A - 7
     1889 Ponedel / Pandėlys Map  
      Sussman Family Map and Photographs of Ponedel / Pandėlys App A - 7
      Narrow-Gauge Railway Line App A - 12
Rokiškis App A - 13
     1866 Rokiškis Map App A - 13
     1891 Rokiškis Map  
     1921 Rokiškis Map  
     1921 Rokiškis Map’s List of Property Owners and Renters  
     Eastern Entrance to the Old Jewish Cemetery and Memorial Stone App A - 14
     Rokiškis’ Synagogue Street – Images and Informational Sign App A - 19
     Rokiškis Street Scenes App A - 24
     Two Interesting Group Photographs
         November 1939 Gathering at the Home of Yudel Meller
         October 1934 Photograph
App A - 29
     Svėdesai App A - 33
     Svėdesai Market Square Map App A - 33
     Images of Svėdesai Jews                                                                      
Selected Town Histories from Other Yizkor Books App A - 35
     Abel (from Pinkas HaKehillot Lita) App A - 35
     Rokishok (from Pinkas HaKehillot Lita) App A -41
     Rokishkis (from Lite, Volume I) App A - 50
Families and Individuals App A - 52
     Tracing My Roots In Rakishok by Dr. Sorrel Kerbel App A - 52
      Ray Kriger Katz by Amanda Katz Jermyn App A - 72
     The Ruch Family by Amanda Katz Jermyn App A - 85
     Ruvin Bun App A - 89
     Yakov Smushkevich App A - 93
June 14, 1941, Deportations to Siberia App A - 95
Holocaust-Related Materials App A - 101
     Excerpts from the Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania App A - 101
     Professor A. Eidintas’ Description of Murders at Velniaduobė (Bajorai) ….. App A - 105
     The Jäger Report App A - 106
     Forensic Reports for the Rokiškis-Area Massacre Sites App A - 112
     Other Rokiškis-Area Massacre Sites App A - 114
Appendix of List of Rokiškis Area Holocaust Victims APP-1
Partial List of Lithuanian murderers of the Jews of Rokiškis
and its district

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