“Rozalimas” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania
(Lithuania)

55° 53' / 23° 53'

Translation of the “Rozalimas” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Lita

Written by Josef Rosin

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 632-633)

Rozalimas

In Yiddish, Rozalye, or Razalin

Written by Dov Levin

Translated by Shimon Joffe

A county town in the Panevezys district in central Lithuania.

Year General
Population
Jews %
1859 107 .. ..
1897 549 265 49
1923 713 173 27
1930 100
families
18
families
18
1938 800 110 12
1959 563 .. ..

Rozalimas lies along the Daugyvene River, 9 km distant from the town of Pakruojus and 40 km to the north of the district town Panevezys. The town is mentioned in historical documents of 1777, when Rosalia and Adam Drubish erected a church there. The Rozalimas land belonged for a long period to the Bialuzor Bogdanowich family. In the period of Russian rule the town belonged first, administratively, to the Vilnius province and later to the Kaunas province. From the second half of the 19th century and also during the period of Lithuanian independence, it served as a county center. In 1930, it suffered a great fire.

The first Jews, it is believed, settled in Rozalimas at the beginning of the 19th century. By the end of the century the Jewish population was at its height and was well settled economically. In 1841, the nobleman Bogdanowich agreed to sell the Jews plots of land at the ruling market price and this enabled them to build decent housing. At the same time approximately, the opening of local synagogue was celebrated. The building cost 2000 Rubles. For various reasons, the local Jews did not suffer the limitations of the 'temporary regulations' enacted by the Russian authorities in 1882. In the First World War Rozalimas Jewry, some 50 families, was expelled to the Russian interior.

After the War, in the 20s, only about half the number of expelled Jews returned to the town. With the assistance and encouragement of the Ministry of Jewish Affairs in the independent Lithuanian government, a free thinking community was set up, headed by a five member committee. During this period, a public Jewish school operated. On the average, some 30 pupils studied there. Except for a few families who worked at farming, the Jews made a living off shop keeping and trade. A great deal of the economic activity took place on the Mondays, the weekly market day, and on the two annual fair days which took place in the town. The other days of the year, the Jews attended the markets and fairs in the neighboring towns. According to a survey conducted by the independent Lithuanian government in 1931, Rozalimas had, under Jewish ownership, 2 textile shops, 2 plants for combing wool, and a butchery.

In the great fire which enveloped the town in 1931, 8 Jewish houses were lost. 10 Jewish families remained homeless. The Jewish press in Lithuania published appeals for assistance. Because of the difficult economic situation, increasing numbers of Jews turned to emigration to countries across the seas, particularly to South Africa. But at the same time, public activity continued in the town, and given below are the results of the elections to the Zionist congresses which took place in the town in those years:

Congress
Nr
Year Total
Shekelim
Total
Voters
Labor
Part
Revis-
ionist
General
Zionists
Grosmanists Mizrachi
Z”S Z”Z A B
19 1935 - 14 10 - 1 2 - 1
  National Bloc
21 1939 - 28 10 - - 18

The extent to which Zionism was rooted in the town, can be judged from the fact that the above voting took place in the local synagogue.

Rabbis who served the public during this period were Rabbi Nakhum Sher and the last community rabbi – Rabbi Eliezer Goldberg.

After the annexation of Lithuania to the Soviet Union in June 1940, the local Jews also suffered from the Sovietization process; some businesses were nationalized and Zionism was outlawed.

After the German invasion of Lithuania in June 1941, Lithuanian nationalists took over local rule. They murdered some of their Jewish neighbors. The remainder were transferred to neighboring Pakruojus, and there murdered together with the local Jews on August 4, 1941.

Bibliography:

Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem, files 55/1788, 55/1701, 13/15/131, Z-4/2548.
Hamelitz [The Advocate] – (St. Petersburg), 16.3.1883, 20.10.1881.
Di Yiddishe Shtime [The Jewish Voice] – (Kaunas), 13.6.1930, 19.6.1930.

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