Keidan / Kėdainiai Jews Murdered During the Holocaust
Introduction by Tamar Dothan and Olga Zabludoff
This database contains information about 1,027 Jews from the Lithuanian town of Kėdainiai [Yiddish: קיידאַן Keidan] who were murdered during the Holocaust.
The data set consists of two components: (1) Jews murdered in Keidan / Kėdainiai, Lithuania, during the Holocaust, and (2) Jews from Keidan who were either living elsewhere or had been deported from Keidan and therefore were murdered in various other locations. Although most of the statistics cited indicate that approximately 3,000 Jews were murdered in Keidan, the Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony submitted to date account for slightly more than one-third of the actual number of victims. Jews from the neighboring shtetlakh of Šėta [Shat] and Žeimiai [Zhaim] were brought to Keidan to be exterminated along with the Keidan Jews, but most of these families are not included in this list.
Three sources were used to compile the information in this data set. The Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony constituted our primary source. Personal communications (emails and telephone calls) developed into a rewarding additional source of information. After posting announcements on the Keidan Discussion Group website calling for data about Keidaners whose deaths had not been recorded at Yad Vashem, we were contacted by individuals who provided us with information about their relatives and friends for whom Pages of Testimony had not been submitted. Occasionally we also initiated phone calls to submitters of Pages in order to verify their data.
Vital Records from the Keidan Jewish Community served as our third source, from which we gleaned precise details frequently not included in the Pages of Testimony. We availed ourselves of the 19th and 20th century birth, marriage and divorce, and death records of the Keidan Jewish Community which have been translated by LitvakSIG. We used these records to confirm the information in the Pages of Testimony and to cull additional details. For instance, rarely did submitters of the Pages know the exact age or date and place of birth of victims, or the full names of parents or of spouses; and quite often they did not even know the given names of children, their ages or how many children there were in a family. If we found a discrepancy between information in a Page of Testimony and that in the corresponding vital record, we considered the vital record to be the more accurate of the two documents. Quite frequently duplicate Pages of Testimony for the same individual would record conflicting information. In such cases we deemed the vital records to be the most reliable source.
In several instances we encountered a Page of Testimony for a husband and wife with either no mention of children in the family or a vague reference to the possibility that there were children — names and ages unknown. By examining the birth records we were able to identify and to document the missing children. However, if a child or children had not been recorded in a Page of Testimony, we entered the following note in the Comments field: "Fate not recorded; likely killed with parents." While the possibility exists that a child or children may have survived in an isolated circumstance, we suspect that errors of assumption are very few in the list.
This data set consists of 1,027 individuals (416 families). The fields for this database are as follows:
Notes on Lithuanian Surnames:
Because the Holocaust occurred during the period of Lithuania's independence, at which time the official language was Lithuanian, names are recorded in both the Lithuanian version and the corresponding Russian-Jewish form. Names of males, both given and surnames, generally end in "-as" or "-is" or "-ius" (e.g.: "ABRAMOVICIUS, Aronas" = "ABRAMOVICH, Aron"). Female surnames take two forms: married female surnames end in an "-iene" suffix; unmarried female surnames in "-aite" or "-yte": (e.g.: "BERGERIENE" = "BERGER"; "MULERYTE" = "MULER").
The information contained in this database was indexed from the sources detailed in the Background section. Tamar Dothan and Olga Zabludoff compiled the data.
In addition, thanks to JewishGen Inc. for providing the website and database expertise to make this database accessible. Special thanks to Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias for their continued contributions to Jewish genealogy. Particular thanks to Nolan Altman, Vice President of Data Acquisition and Coordinator of JewishGen's Holocaust Database files.
Searching the Database
Last Update: 17 March 2014 by MFK