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

55° 14' / 22° 19'

Translation of the “Gaure” 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 182-183)

Gaure

In Yiddish, Gaure, also Gavre

Written by Josef Rosin

Translated by Shimon Joffe

A district township in the Taurage district.

Year General
Population
Jews %
1841 172
1886 472
1923 17
1932 180 17 9

Gaure lies in western Lithuania, on the left bank of the Sesuve River, appx.12 km. to the east of the district town Taurage. The town is mentioned in historic documents reaching back to the sixteenth century. The king, August the Second, granted it the privilege to hold a weekly market in the year 1701. During the period of Russian rule (1795-1915), Gaure was included in the Vilnius district and after 1843 was joined onto the Kovno district. During those years and in the period of Lithuanian independence (1918-1940) Gaure served as a district capital. It contained a wood mill and a flour mill.

Jews lived in Gaure in the eighteenth century. Reb Duber B.R Zvi-Hirsh Dimand, born in the year 1790, served as a rabbi in Taurage, in Zidikai , and in Pilten (Courland, Latvia).

Names of Gaure Jews are mentioned in two lists of donors for settlement in Eretz Israel, in 1898. No details exist of the occupations of the few Jews living in Gaure. It may be assumed that they lived the usual village life, much like others in the neighboring towns, each family working a small plot, possessing a cow or goat, and others owning a horse.

The town had synagogues with rabbis. Among the latter, Rabbi Avraham-Arieh-Leib Grosbard, born in 1871, officiated there from the year 1898. A Hebrew Yiddish writer, Nekhemya-Dov Hofman, who published many books in Yiddish and Hebrew, mostly in the natural sciences, was born there. His book of memoirs was published in 1916 in Capetown, South Africa, (apparently the first Hebrew Yiddish book published in that country).

At the outbreak of war between Germany and the USSR, there were only a few Jewish families in Gaure. They were murdered in the Gryblaukis forest, some 22 km. from Taurage, and 2 km. to the right of the Taurage-Skaudvile road. The pits were ready for the victims, and hundreds had been murdered there with great cruelty. Soviet sources claim that approx. 1000 victims were buried in this common grave, the majority being women and children. (See also Batakiai).

Towards the end of 1980 the town inhabitants put up a memorial stone in the place where there had been at one time, a Jewish graveyard and was obliterated over time. It has an inscription in Lithuanian and Hebrew.

Bibliography:

Yad Vashem Archives, Koniukhovsky Collection 0-71, file 10.

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