Olkeniki, Lithuania Yizkor Book

Project Name. Translation of the Olkeniki (Valkininkai), Lithuania Yizkor Book Olkeniki in Flames

Project Leader
Ernest G. Fine

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

This project is being initiated in order to fund the translation of the complete yizkor book Olkeniki in Flames, by Shlomo Farber, Haifa, Israel, 1962; 293 pages written in Hebrew and Yiddish, with a short English summary. As one of two yizkor books about the shtetl Olkeniki, this book is a brief but detailed description of many aspects of Jewish life in Olkeniki prior to the Holocaust.

Olkeniki is located approximately 30 miles southwest of Vilnius. It was settled by Jews in the mid-1600's In June 1941 the Germans began their invasion of the Soviet Union and Olkeniki was invaded at that time. In September 1941 the Nazis murdered the Jews of Olkeniki and several adjacent towns.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in Olkeniki constitute the primary audience for the material. However, the material has the potential to be of broader appeal to scholars interested in the region or specializing in Jewish history and society.

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in central and Eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust. This book contains town history, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education. The completed yizkor book translation will also include photos, maps, and necrology lists. The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or shot in the forests are not recorded elsewhere.

Usually written in Hebrew or Yiddish, these important books are not accessible to most users, who cannot read these languages. Thus, the translation of these books into English unlocks this information to many more researchers all over the world. The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received the award in 2002 for outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Currently, there is little information available to the English speaking world regarding Olkeniki or its Jewish community. With the destruction of the Jewish community in 1941, the information in this yizkor book constitutes much of its documented history. This project will result in the creation of the primary English language source of information for anyone doing research on the town and its Jewish community.

Project Description

This project is intended to result in the translation, from Hebrew and Yiddish to English, of the complete Olkeniki yizkor book. The resulting translation will be posted on the Yizkor Book Translations site. To complete the translation, JewishGen will hire a professional translator. The Project Coordinator will select the order in which to translate the chapters and will work closely with the translator to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation. Specific tasks the Project Coordinator will perform include proofreading, editing, and preparing the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project.

A necrology translation created by Marcia Pailet-Abrams Jaffe exists, and will be donated to the Yizkor Book Project immediately.

Estimated Cost. $7500


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Updated 19 May 2010 by LA