“Veiveriai” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania

54° 46' / 23°43'

Translation of the “Veiveriai” 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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(Page 230)

Veiveriai

Written by Josef Rosin

Translated by Shaul Yannai

(Yiddish, Veiver)

A county town in the Marijampole district.

Year General
Population
Jews %
1827 249 .. ..
1897 921 .. ..
1923 813 137 17

Veiveriai is located in the southwest of Lithuania. It lies on both sides of the road to Marijampole, about 20 km southwest of Kaunas. The nearest train station to Veiveriai is in Mauruciai, located on the Kaunas - Kybartai line, about 3 km from Veiveriai. The town is first mentioned in the Vilnius Synod lists in 1744. Veiveriai had a postal station in the first half of the 19th century when the post was delivered by carriages. But when the rail line was built in the 1860's, it was shut down. Veiveriai was the center of the subdistrict during the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century.

During the Period of Independent Lithuania the town had 2 flourmills, a sawmill, a few workshops, a number of shops and a post office branch.

The small Jewish community in Veiveriai was established in the middle of the 19th century. The 1923 census listed 137 Jews in the Veiveriai subdistrict. Their number decreased with the coming years and in 1941 only a few Jewish families remained.

46 Jews from Veiveriai voted in the 19th Zionist Congress election in 1935: 37 voted for the Grosmanists, 6 for the Mizrakhi, 2 for the Labor Party, and 1 for the General Zionists B.

There are two versions regarding the fate of the Jews of the town in WWII. According to one version, the Jewish families were transferred to Prienai where they were murdered with the local Jews on August 26, 1941. According to the other version, the Jews of Veiveriai, together with the Jews of the nearby towns of Pakuonis and Mauruciai, were transferred at the end of August to Galiava where they were imprisoned in the synagogue. A few days later 2 buses with Germans arrived from Kaunas and took from the Jews their money and other valuables. Then the Germans divided the Jews into groups and led them into a small valley between two hills, about 1.5 km from Galiava, next to the Jesia stream, and murdered all of them there. A pit 80 meters long and 2 meters wide was prepared in advance, and it became the mass grave of the Jews of Veiveriai and the Jews from other nearby towns.

Bibliography

Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem, files, 55/1788, 55/1701, 13/15/131, Z-4/2548.

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