KehilaLinks Logo  Švėkšna, Lithuania   Sveksna Blazon. Click this to return here from other pages.

Please refresh your browser view of this page and views of any sub-pages if you have visited this site before the most recent update on 14 January 2024.

Other Names: Sveksnos, Szweksnie, Sveksna, Schvetnau, Shveksni, Suveksniai, Shvekshne (Yiddish), Shvekshna. See also: JewishGen Locality Page

Location: 157.0 miles (252.7 kilometers) west-northwest of Vilnius, Lithuania.
Maps showing Švėkšna:    MapQuest at Latitude 55°31' N, Longitude 21°37' E;    Bing;    JewishGen Resource Mapping;
                                        Google (location in Lithuania);   Google (satellite view of the current town).

Švėkšna is located in western Lithuania, east of the Baltic Sea, and has been inhabited for over two thousand years.

Švėkšna Aerial View

    Sveksna Aerial Photo from 2002.

This aerial photograph appeared as the cover of a booklet about Švėkšna that Petras (Peter) Čeliauskas published in 2003.
Photo C
opyright © 2002 Sigitas Grincinaitis. Permission to print here was granted by the copyright owner in April 2012.
Click on the photo to view a larger version (1.45 MB), which will open in a new window. Close the new window when you want to return here.

History of Švėkšna

Švėkšna: Our Town (PDF - 1.46 MB)

Zacharia Marcus and his granddaughter Esther. This is an article by Esther (Herschman) Rechtschafner about Švėkšna, home of her maternal Grandfather ZACHARIA MARCUS, including information about the Jewish Community of Lithuania as a whole.

Mr. Marcus and Esther appear in the photo at the left (circa 1950).

Student Articles -- The English translations of these articles were done by the Google translator program offered by the website.
    By Jonas Girskis:
Original Lithuanian (PDF - 267 KB) | English Translation (PDF - 217 KB) -- The translation does not include any of the footnotes of the original article.
    By Viktorijos Kinčiūtės: Original Lithuanian (PDF - 68 KB) | English Translation (PDF - 68 KB)
 By Gabija Kumetytė: Original Lithuanian (PDF - 4.0 MB) | English Translation (PDF - 192 KB)

Photographs of Švėkšna

Pictures of Švėkšna (PDF - 1.05 MB)
This is an article by Esther (Herschman) Rechtschafner, with many photographs of Švėkšna and descriptions.

Švėkšna Jewish Cemetery
    Švėkšna Jewish Cemetery in 2011 by Monika Žąsytienė
(16 images)
    Inscriptions on Tombstones 2012 by Monika Žąsytienė
(22 images)

Volunteers from Alicija Rugytė Scout Group Working in the Old Švėkšna Jewish Cemetery in 2012 (19 inages)
Many thanks to them and their leaders and organizers: Violeta Stonienė, Vilma Adomavičienė, and Monika Žąsytienė.

Click here for further information about the Lithuania-Jewish-Cemetery-Project.

Holocaust Memorial Mass Grave Photos by Monika Žasytiene (9 images)

Švėkšna Museum's Project - "Švėkšna's Jewish Community is still alive in our memories" (9 images)
The opening show in June 2012 was wonderful. The Youth Theatre from Klaipėda opened the event with their "impromptu performance." After that Monika Žąsytienė showed the exhibition and publications, etc., about Švėkšna's Jews. Then all the museum's guests went to the Synagogue. They all noted the condition it was then in. Important guests were representatives of the Klaipėda Jewish community, Šilutė's district mayor, Švėkšna's elder, the director of Cultural Heritage and others. The project was organized and the photographs were sent by Monika.

Švėkšna Museum Website – May 2018

Švėkšna Synagogue Renovation and Use
    2015 by Monika Žąsytienė (14 images)
    2021 by Monika Žąsytienė
Several photos and videos of the renovation project appear here. The new Švėkšna Museum is housed in the Synagogue building.
2023 by Monika Žąsytienė (4 images) New (14 Jan 2023)

Lietuva Senose Fotografijose (Lithuania in Old Photographs): Švėkšna
These pre-World War II photos of Švėkšna appear on a Facebook site managed by Jonas Keturka (

Maps of Švėkšna

1910 Map 
This link displays two views of the town plots of Švėkšna in 1910. 
The two images were sent by the courtesy of Monika Žąsytienė.

1924 Map
This is a map of Švėkšna that was drawn in 1924 before the great fire there.
The image was sent by the courtesy of Petras Čeliauskas.

1935 Map
This link shows a diagram of the town layout of Švėkšna made by Esther (Herschman) Rechtschafner as Zipporah Sandler remembers it from 1935.

1941 Map
This map is from the Holocaust. It shows Švėkšna and the surrounding area and the dates of the murders.
Inkakliai is where the Jewish women, children and some of the men of Švėkšna were murdered.
The image was sent by the courtesy of Petras Čeliauskas.

1941 Map by Naftali Ziv
This is a map of Švėkšna as Naftali Ziv remembers it from the Summer of 1941, along with Naftali's explanation of the places depicted.
The image was sent by the courtesy of Naftali Ziv and his wife Hanna.

1952 Aerial Photograph
This aerial photograph of Švėkšna from 1952 shows the development of the town.
The image was sent by the courtesy of Petras Čeliauskas

1960 Map
This map shows the development of the town.
The image was sent by the courtesy of Petras Čeliauskas.

2002 Map
This map of Švėkšna was drawn by Petras Čeliauskas in about 2002, who provided this image and gave his permission to display it here in April 2012.

2002 Aerial Photograph
This is an aerial photograph of Švėkšna (also displayed above on this page) that Petras Čeliauskas used on the cover of his booklet about Švėkšna.
Peter added labels to this copy pointing out places that would be interesting for people to see and know about before forwarding it to Esther Rechtschafner.

Town View on Google
This links to a satellite view of the current town of Švėkšna, opening in a separate window.

German Maps of Švėkšna (These maps and links are provided by the courtesy of John Jaffer.)
    Royal Prussian General Staff, 1860, new edition 1880, Sheet 4 (Paaschken)
    Prussian Survey 1920, last printed 1940, Sheet 4 (Paaschken)
        This map shows the symbols for the synagogue and the Jewish cemetery.
    1913, Sheet 4 (Paaschken - Szweksznie)
        The number 143 under the town name is the number of dwellings. Maps (Note: These maps are very large and may take several minutes to download.)
        Reymanns_Special-Karte_B_Memel.jpg -- 4.92 megabytes
        GSGS4081_GERMANY_100K_SHEET_1_Memel_Heydekrug_1929-43.jpg -- 25.0 megabytes
        Gb_1_Memel_IX_1944.jpg -- 34.7 megabytes 

Testimonies About the Holocaust
        Naftali Ziv Testimony about the HolocaustEnglish Version    Hebrew Version
Collective Testimony of Four Witnesses English Version
        The material in this testimony was used as reference in my article about Sveksna -- Esther (Herschman) Rechtschafner.
The original Yiddish documents and translation to Hebrew may be viewed at the Yad Vashem Documents Archive.

People of Švėkšna

Berg-Friedman Family (PDF - 16 KB)    David Pinn Family (PDF - 16 KB)    Esakovitch Family (PDF - 33 KB)     Freedman Family (PDF - 39 KB)   

Fregin Family (PDF -9 KB)  Galis-Eliasowice Family (PDF - 18 KB)    Gershenovich-Ribkin Family (PDF - 46 KB)    Gold-Pinn Family (PDF - 20 KB)       

Ichacovich Family (PDF - 14 KB)    Jaffe Family (PDF - 72 KB)    Ladon Family   Levinson Family   Naftali Ziv

Ofsaiof Family (PDF - 16 KB)    Press Family   Prisman Family     Pushkin-Solomon Family (PDF - 43 KB)    Ripkin Family (PDF - 1.39 MB)   (Updated 26 October 2022)

Segal Family (PDF - 586 KB)    Smulovicas Family (PDF - 16 KB)    Stein Family (PDF - 22 KB)    Teveye Ladin Family    Velvelovich and Goldstein Families   

Velvelovich and Marcus Families    Zacharia Marcus Family    The Schenker Family   The Srolowitz (Israelson) Family

1938 Švėkšna Telephone Numbers (PDF - 119 KB)

A Jewish Neshama (PDF - 44 KB)    Chat with"Charlie" (PDF - 38 KB)    Monika  Žąsytienė    Petras Čeliauskas   

Laura Taylor (PDF - 120 KB)

Other JewishGen Links

JewishGen Lithuania Database -- A multiple-database search engine, which incorporates databases containing more than two million entries from Lithuania.

JewishGen InfoFile Index - JewishGen InfoFiles provide information at your fingertips on topics of relevance to Jewish genealogical research.

The JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) for Sveksna - A database of ancestral towns and surnames currently being researched by Jewish genealogists worldwide.

Other Links

Yad Vashem - Yad Vashem, containing the world's largest repository of information on the Holocaust, is the center for Holocaust research, documentation, education and learning. It is located in Jerusalem, Israel.

Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel - This website includes a collection of memoirs of Lithuanian Jewry. The Association is located in Tel Aviv, Israel.  [Note: Website is not available as of 22 Apr 2018.]

The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People - This facility was established in 1939. It holds the archives of hundreds of Jewish communities, as well as of local, national and international Jewish organizations and the private collections of many outstanding Jewish personalities. The Archives now hold the most extensive collection of documents, pinkassim (registers) and other records of Jewish history from the Middle Ages to the present day. It is located in Jerusalem, Israel.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - This organization is America's national institution for the documentation, study and interpretation of Holocaust history. It is located in Washington, DC, USA.

Website of Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz - Ruth Leiserowitz, Ph.D., is a German historian and has done much research on Eastern Prussia, including much traveling in the Lithuanian-Russian area. She is on the faculty of the Humbolt University in Berlin and the Klaipeda University. She is affiliated with the Berlin School for European Comparative History. Her main fields of research are Modern and Contemporary History, European History, specializing in Baltic, Polish, and Russian History, Cultural and Social History as well as Jewish History.

The Synagogue of Švėksna - This website gives a brief history of the Švėksna Synagogue and displays several photographs. Click on the "Read more" tab at the website to see the history or "Gallery" to see photographs and building plans.
    Note, 16 Nov 2014: This material is currently not available.  Please check back later.

Request for Further Švėkšna Information

Please help us expand this web site by sending further information about the Jews of Švėkšna, 
including personal stories, pictures, documents and comments to: Esther (Herschman) Rechtschafner

  Total count of site views from April 2012 through 2023 was lost in late 2023.
Since 2 January 2024, this site has been viewed times.

Compiled by Esther (Herschman) Rechtschafner
Updated on 14 January 2024
Copyright © 2012-24 Esther (Herschman) Rechtschafner
All Rights Reserved.

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