“Neustadt-Saki” - Lithuanian Jewry
(Kudirkos Naumiestisis, Lithuania)

54°46' / 22°53'

Translation of “Neustadt-Saki” chapter from Yahadut Lita
(Lithuanian Jewry), Vol. 4

Published by The Association of The Lithuanian Jews in Israel

Published in Tel Aviv, 1967 (Vol. 3) and 1984 (Vol. 4)


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Acknowledgments

Project Coordinator and Translator

Shalom Bronstein

 

Our sincere appreciation to Joseph Melamed, Advocat, for permission
to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Yahadut Lita: (Lithuanian Jewry), Vol. 4
Town: Kudirkos Naumiestisis (Neustadt-Saki), pp. 316-317 (Vol. 4)


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[Pages 316-317 - Volume 4]

Neustadt-Saki/Kudirkos Naumiestis

A small town in the southern corner of Lithuania, four kilometers from the border with Germany in the District of Saki. At the time of the Holocaust some 800 Jews lived in Neustadt, including thirty families who were expelled from the Suvalk District after it was annexed to Germany in 1939.

As soon as the war broke out, the town was captured by the Germans. At 3:00 A.M. on the 22nd of June German soldiers poured into Neustadt. The Soviet army had few troops in the area and there was no resistance to the Germans.

The entry of the Germans brought the earliest Jewish victims. The first was David Glodnikov who awoke at 3:15 A.M. to the sound of noise outside. He opened the door of his house and was shot by a German soldier. Fifteen minutes later the eighteen-year-old Mordecai Levenstein was shot and at 7:00 A.M. Iser Grossman was murdered. At 1:00 P.M. in the city square in the presence of many spectators, the Germans executed the barbers M. Luvovksy and Y. Katz. In the vicinity of the barber shop where they worked a German soldier was found murdered. The two were accused of killing the soldier and were shot.

Three days after the Germans entered, on June 25, 1941, all the Jews were ordered to gather in the market square and the Council Head, Lefuszinskis, informed them from that day onward they would be required to do various tasks in the town. They would be digging ditches, cleaning and sweeping streets, repairing roads, etc. The Jews were immediately taken to work under the supervision of Lithuanian guards who did their best to make their jobs more difficult by constantly debasing and humiliating them.

Neustadt-Saki was in a twenty-five kilometer strip that came under the Staloeker Edict of June 22, 1941. Accordingly, the strip was transferred to the S.D. in Tilsit to clear it of Jews and communists. The head of the S.D. in Tilsit, Dr. Boehme, delegated this task to the head of the S.D. in Shirvint (the German town, not to be confused with the town of the same name in Lithuania), which was across from Neustadt on the German side of the border. He also set the date for the murder of the Jews.

On one of the days in early July (according to the testimony of Dr. L. Goldstein and Leah Ezra it was July 1. According to the determination of the court in Ulm it was between July 4th and 10th), when the Jews returned from their assigned forced labor tasks in various parts of the town, a group of Lithuanian “Activists,” under the command of Germans who came from Shirvint, attacked the city. They ordered all Jewish males above the age of fourteen out to the streets. There armed Lithuanians were waiting and they took them under heavy guard to the District Council building. Council officials collected their papers, money and anything of value found on them.

In groups of fifty the Jews were taken to the Jewish cemetery. There, pits which were excavated by Soviet prisoners of war were ready. One hundred ninety-two of the prisoners were murdered by the Germans and the Lithuanian “Activists.” They were shot at the edge of the pits. In those instances where the victim did not fall directly into the pits, the next group was forced to drag the victims of the previous group into them. The district governor and the council head were present at this mass execution. According to the testimony of witnesses who appeared at the trial at Ulm, all those who participated were invited by the district governor and council head to a large banquet. The two thanked the Germans and the Lithuanians who participated in the mass slaughter for their efforts. The families of the victims were told that the men were taken to Germany to work.

Until the 7th of July the “Activists” continued to search for escapees. Nine Jews were caught, taken into custody and on the 7th of July taken to the cemetery and murdered.

The bereaved families remained in their homes until August 23, 1941. Physically fit and healthy women replaced the men at forced labor. They were brought to the same places and did the same jobs. They were prohibited from purchasing food or drawing water from the communal well at the same time as the other residents. Separate hours were set for them to buy food and draw water.

On August 23 a Ghetto was established in Neustadt. For this purpose the two most run-down and decrepit alleys were chosen: they synagogue alley and the bathhouse alley. On September 16 (24 Elul, 5701) the “Activists” appeared in town and all the women and children were taken from their homes. Also captured were some men who had managed to escape the earlier slaughter. They were told to get ready to go to work, but were all taken to the Prazniev Forest, some four kilometers from the town. Pits had been dug in the area and there 650 Jewish women and children were murdered and buried. Immediately upon the removal of the Jews, the local council seized their property and began its distribution. Bitter quarrels and fighting broke out among the Lithuanians as each fought over getting a larger share of the “prize.”

Only one family, Malka Glick and her four children, succeeded in hiding with farmers she knew and was saved.

In the lists of mass graves published in the book Mass Murders in Lithuania, section 2, the mass graves of Neustadt-Saki are listed as follows:

  1. Next to the Jewish cemetery, at a distance of one kilometer from the town, on the banks of the Shirvint River; the time was between June 22 and July 11, 1941; the number of victims – 192.

  2. The location – Prazniev Forest, four kilometers southeast of Neustadt-Saki; the time – September 16, 1941; number of victims – 650.

Sources

Testimony of Dr. L. Goldstein, Yad Vashem document 1532/1642 Leah Ezra, Netanya


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