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

55° 17' / 21° 22'

Translation of the “Rusne” 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 636)

Rusne

In Yiddish, Rusne

Written by Josef Rosin

Translated by Shimon Joffe

A town in the Klaipeda province, 8 km south west of Heidekrug, near the Rusne River, which is one of the arms of the Nemunas river delta. Until 1923 it was under Prussian rule. Between the years 1923-1939, during the period of Lithuanian independence, it became a county center in the autonomous province of Klaipeda (called Memel by the Jews).

Before the First World War the town was an important center for the export of timber from Russia to Klaipeda. Jews settled there at the beginning of the 19th century. (the families of Eizenheim, H M Vazbutzki, Tsamor and others). It had 1997 inhabitants in 1815. In 1855, a few dozen Jews lived in the town. In 1857 it already had a synagogue and a mikve (ritual bathhouse). In 1884, a beautiful large synagogue was built. In 1925, it had 1509 inhabitants, with an unknown number of Jews. With the annexation of the Klaipeda province to Germany in the spring of 1939 all the Jews left the town and settled in Lithuania. With the conquest of Lithuania by the Germans in June 1941, they shared the fate of the other Lithuanian Jews.

Bibliography:

YIVO - Lithuanian Communities' Collection: pp. 63778-63786.

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