“Simonys” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania
(Šimonys, Lithuania)

55° 44' / 25° 9'

Translation of the “Simonys” 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 686)

Simonys

Written by Dov Levin

Translated by Shaul Yannai

In Yiddish, Shimants

A county town in the district of Panevezys, 26 km southeast of Kupiskis, in an area of swamps and near the Pelysa River. The town originated as a village, which was also called Simonys, when a Church was built there in 1700. In 1886, Simonys had 102 residents. About a third of them were Jews, who made their living from petty trade and labor. The number of Jews in the town declined due to emigration abroad. During WWI, the Jews of Simonys were expelled to the interior regions of Russia. Not all of them returned after the war. In 1923, Simonys had 79 Jews: 40 women and 39 men.
According to the 1931 Lithuanian government census, Jews owned in Simonys a wool carding workshop.

There was a Rabbi in the town throughout most of the years. Among the Rabbis who served in Simonys were: Rabbi Shimon Rosovski (from 1904); Rabbi Khaim-Dov Holand (from 1910); Rabbi Meir Verzhbolovski (during the 1920's). 9 people voted in the 19th Zionist Congress (1935) in Simonys: 5 for the “Eretz-Yisrael HaOveded” party, 3 for the General Zionists B, and one for the “Mizrakhi”. Simonys is mentioned in the 1938 list of Jewish artisans in Lithuania. In 1939, the town had 7 telephones. One of them belonged to a Jew (Khaim Droskovitz).

We do not know how many Jews remained in Simonys in June 1940, when Lithuania was conquered by the Germans. In any event, their fate was the same as the fate of the Jews in the surrounding areas: all of them were murdered during the autumn of 1941by Lithuanians who operated in the service of the occupying authorities. According to Lithuanian sources, during the war, a resident of Simonys by the name of Helena Stoniene hid in her home Busia Khayet, a former Jewish student from Vilnius.

Bibliography:

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

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