“Nevarenai” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania
(Nevarėnai, Lithuania)

56° 06' / 22° 17'

Translation of the “Nevarenai” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Lita

Written by Dov Levin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1996


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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Lita: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Lithuania,
Editor: Prof. Dov Levin, Assistant Editor: Josef Rosin, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.


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(Pages 397 - 398)

Nevarenai (Lith.)

In Yiddish, Naveran

Written by Dov Levin

Translated by Shaul Yannai

A county town in the Telsiai district.

Year General
Population
Jews Percentage
1859 169 .. ..
1897 513 .. ..
1923 456 95 21

Nevarenai is located on the banks of the Burbesis River in the province of Samogitia in northeastern Lithuania, 14 km north of Telsiai, the district's city. Although Nevarenai was established in the 17th century, its accelerated expansion began only in the latter half of the 19th century. At that time, it administratively belonged to the province of Kaunas and was the center of a county. It kept this status also during the period of Independent Lithuania (1918-1940). The Jewish community in Nevarenai became stronger in the latter half of the 19th century. Most of the Jews made their living from commerce, storekeeping, labor, and from processing leather and wool.

The Jewish population in the town decreased gradually due to emigration abroad. During the period of Independent Lithuania the town had less than 100 Jews. When the government of Lithuania declared autonomy for the Jews, a ruling committee of 5 members was voted for in Nevarenai in 1921. The committee was active in most areas of Jewish life in the town for a number of years.

In 1937, there were 5 Jewish artisans in the town: 3 butchers, a tailor and a shoemaker. In 1939, the town had 4 private telephones; one of them belonged to a Jew by the name of Marcus Rozenfeld, who had a flourmill.

Among the natives of the town were: Rabbi Khaim Natanzon (1938-1904), who was a Rabbi in Nevarenai and in Zidikai, and the author of the books “Siftey Khen” (Vilnius, 1899) and “Divrey Khen” (Piotrkow, 1903); Yisrael-Leib Popes (1883-1912), a famous author and journalist.

Nevarenai's last Rabbi was Rabbi Nakhum Gerinker.

In June, 1941, Germany conquered Lithuania. The Jews of Nevarenai were taken out of the town a few weeks later. According to one version, before the Jews of Nevarenai were taken out of the town they were first assembled together with the Jews of Telsiai in the village of Viesvenai and were later taken to the Giruliai Camp where they were murdered by armed Lithuanians. According to Soviet-Lithuanian sources, the site where they were murdered is located either in the village of Siliskes, about 3 km north of Gadunavas, or in the Tauciai Forest, 1 km south of Gadunavas.

Bibliography:

Yad Vashem Archives, Koniukhovsky collection 0-71, files 36, 37.
Masines Zudynes Lietuvoje (Mass Murders in Lithuania), Volume 2, p. 408.
Naujienos (Chicago), June 11, 1949.


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