“Liskiava” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania
(Liškiava, Lithuania)

54° 6' / 24° 3'

Translation of the “Liskiava” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Lita

Written by Dov Levin

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 362 - 363)

Liskiava (Lith.)

In Yiddish, Lishkeve or Liskeve

Written by Dov Levin

Translated by Shaul Yannai

A village and the center of a county in the Alytus district.

The village of Liskiava is located on the left bank of the Nemunas River. The village is mentioned in historical documents in the 15th century while it belonged to Dominican Priests for an extended period of time. In 1795, Liskiava was ruled by Prussia. In 1807, it was under the control of the Warsaw principality. From 1815 it was included in the Suvalk province within Czarist Russia. During WWI, the village was struck by a fire.

The first Jews, mostly artisans and tavern keepers, settled in Liskiava during the first half of the 18th century, after being invited by the Dominicans who wanted to develop the settlement. Their settling in the village was authorized by the bishop of Vilnius. In 1740, Liskiava had 16 houses; 11 of them belonged to Jews. In 1819, Liskiava had 90 Jews, and in 1821, it had already 170 Jews, about half of the population. At the end of the 19th century (1897), the Jews made up about a third of the 613 residents in Liskiava. All the Jews engaged in petty trade and labor. According to the 1923 Lithuanian government census, Liskiava had a population of 407 residents; 146 of them were Jews. In 1934, only about 50 Jews remained in the village. Most of them made their living from labor and auxiliary farms which they maintained near their homes. Liskiava is mentioned in the 1938 list of Jewish artisans in Lithuania. Toibe Zagorski, who preserved the folklore of her ancestors, corresponded with the Historical-Ethnographical Society in Kaunas. The Rabbis in Liskiava were: Efraim-Tsvi Miniburg and Tsvi Kur.

32 people voted to the 19th Zionist Congress in 1935. The “Mizrakhi” party received all of the votes in Liskiava.

During the period of Russian Rule (1940-1941), less than 10 families remained in Liskiava. In the summer of 1941, after the Germans conquered Lithuania, the young Jews in Liskiava were arrested by armed Lithuanians, were transferred to Alytus, and were murdered there with the Jews of Alytus. The other Jews in Liskiava were transferred in the autumn of 1941 to Merkine and were murdered there with the Jews of Merkine. According to Soviet sources, 200 residents were murdered in Liskiava during the Nazi occupation. There is no doubt that that number includes all of the Jews who were in Liskiava at that point in time.

Bibliography:

Vashem Archives, Jerusalem, Koniukhovsky Collection 0-71, file 131.
Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem, files 55/1788, Z-4/2548.
YIVO - Lithuanian Communities' Collection: p. 69568-69569.
Yiddishe Shtime [The Jewish Voice] – (Kaunas), 5.2.1922.


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