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[Page 406]

Salant
(Salantai, Lithuania)

56°04' 21°34'

Salant – as it is called in Yiddish – is located in the northwestern part of Lithuania, about 32 km northeast from the district town Kretinga. The nearest train station was 12 km from Salant. The town was built on both banks of the Salantas River, the main part being on the left bank. A village with the same name was mentioned in historic documents dating back to 1565. In 1746 the King granted permission for four annual town fairs in Salant.

Until 1795 Salant was part of the Polish–Lithuanian Kingdom, when the third division of Poland by the three superpowers of those times – Russia, Prussia and Austria – caused Lithuania to become partly Russian or partly Prussian. The part of Lithuania that included Salant fell under the rule of the Czarist Russian. From 1802 it was part of the Vilna province (Gubernia) and from 1843 as part of the Kovno province.

At the beginning of the 1880s Count Bogdan Oginsky purchased the lands of the town.

During the 19th century and also during the subsequent years of independence in Lithuania (1918–1940) Salant was a county center in the Kretinga district.

 

The Jewish settlement till after World War I

Jews settled in Salant since the beginning of the 18th century. In 1765 there were 279 Jews in town who paid poll tax. Aged people as well as the poor and the children under ten years of age were released from making payment, therefore it is reasonable to estimate the number of Jews at this date at about 400.

They made their living in crafts and commerce, in particular in flax trade. The market days and the fairs were the source of their livelihood.

During the years of autonomous organization for Jewish communities in Lithuania (Va'ad Medinath Lita, 1623–1764), Salant community belonged to Birzh (Birzai) district.

During the Polish rebellion in 1831 a rich Salant man Eliyahu Gutkin, helped by the local priest, saved 12 Jews from being hanged by the rebels.

In 1843 the Czar issued an order stipulating that Jews living in the area within 50 km of the western border of Russia should be transferred to some of the Gubernias inside Russia. Salant community was one of 19 who refused to obey this order.

In 1847 there were 990 Jews in Salant. In 1880, 300 Jewish families lived in the town. There were 60 Jewish shops in town, 20 flax merchants, a water–driven flourmill, 15 shoemakers, 7 tailors and other artisans, a doctor, a paramedic, and a pharmacist.

After Count Oginsky became the owner of Salant lands in 1885, he wanted to evict the Jews from their homes claiming that the Jews living on his lands were

[Page 407]

living there illegally. The conflict had to be resolved in court and the verdict was passed in favor of the Jews who stayed on in their homes after paying the claimant a fee of 60 Rubles per house.

 

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Market place in Salant
The white house at right belonged to Zusmanovitz family

Picture supplied by Dr L.J.Herberg

 

Jewish children studied at the “Kheder” which was usual in those times. In the years 1903–1910 Salant had a “Yeshivah” and five “Khadarim”. In 1906 a library was established, considered illegal in those times. The initiators of the project were Hirsh Ulshtein and one of Rabbi Rabinovitz's sons.

One of the promoters of secular education in town was Mordehai–Aharon Ginzburg, who later became the best–known Hebrew writer of Lithuania.

Salant was becoming known in Lithuania and in the Diaspora for its scholars, the “Musar” men (ethics, morality), the rabbis, intellectuals and writers who trace back their roots to the town.

There was an old synagogue in Salant that apparently was built in the first half of the 19th century.

On the list of Salant Jews who paid the membership fee of “Agudath Yisrael” in1913, thirty–two names show up (see Appendix 2). The activists were Rabbi Mordehai Rabinovitz, Tsevi Muskat, Mosheh Milner.

In 1907 local public workers managed to form “Loan and Saving Society”, despite obstacles caused by the government.

For list of rabbis who served in Salant see Appendix 1.

[Page 408]

lit4_408.jpg
Street with peddlers

 

The “Khibath Zion” (Affection for Zion) movement and later the Zionism movement was well received in Salant, but even before these movements were established, some of Salant Jews immigrated to Eretz–Yisrael.

In 1838 Rabbi Yosef Zundl Salant immigrated to Eretz Yisrael and in 1902 Naftali Amsterdam did. Yitskhak ben Ze'ev Keidansky with his wife settled in Jerusalem at the end of the 1880s. Beinush Salant was one of the seven founders of the “Nakhlath Shivah” quarter in Jerusalem. Dr. Ze'ev–Wolf ben Mosheh Levinzon, a known doctor in Zemaitija region, agreed to run his practice in Jerusalem arriving in 1846 where he worked until his death in 1873.

Mosheh–Yehoshua (Salant), born 1824 in Salant, arrived in Jerusalem in1872. Served as “Shamash” at the Beth Hamidrash of “Batei Makhase” quarter. Died in 1903 and was buried on Mount of Olives cemetery. He had four daughters and one son.

One daughter and the son immigrated to America in 1912–13 the others lived and died in Jerusalem. (Appendix 6 contains a Partial list of Salant Jews who immigrated to America in the years 1905–1921)

At the old Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem there are 7 headstones of Salant Jews who passed away at the end of the 19th century:

Yosef–Zundl ben Binyamin–Beinush, immigrated in 1838 where he died in 1867 at the age of 81.
Rachel–Rivkah bath Tsevi (wife of Rabbi Yosef Zundl), died in 1856,
Tsivyah bath Yosef Zundl, died in 1881,
Mosheh ben Yitskhak Izik, died in1873,
Rachel from Salant, wife of Asher from Shad died in 1875,
Hode–Gite bath Yonah, died in 1884,
Binyamn–Beinush ben Rabbi Shemuel from Salant, died in 1900.

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At the Hebrew newspaper “HaMeilitz” dating back to the years 1894–1901 there are 100 names of Salant Jews who donated money for the settlement of Eretz Yisrael (see Database at Jewishgen.Org, compiled by Jeffrey Maynard). The fundraisers were Yomtov Lipman and D.Vazbutzky.

In anticipation of the fifth Zionist Congress that took place in 1902, 50 “Shekalim” were sold in town. The list of members supporting Jewish agrarians in Eretz Yisrael and Syria in 1896 the following names of Salant Jews appear: Yosef Urdang, Hayim Gitkin, Lipman Ziv, Ben–Zion Cohen, Tsevi Cohen, Yehoshua Shwartz, David and Zalman Vazbutsky.

The Hebrew newspaper, “HaMagid,” Number. 17 dating back to 1872, lists 80 names of Salant Jews who donated money for the destitute Jews in Lithuania. (see Database Jewishgen.Org)

In 1915, at World War I, the Russian army exiled Salant Jews and most of the Jews of the Kovno Gubernia, deep into Russia.

For a partial list of famous persons born in Salant see Appendix 5.

 

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The Synagogue –“Di Shul”
Photo taken by Meir Olstein, supplied by Eli Goldstein

[Page 410]

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The “Aron Kodesh”

 

During Independent Lithuania (1918–1940)

According to the first census performed by the new Lithuanian government in 1923 there were 1,677 residents in Salant, of them 670 were Jews (40%).

During this period Salant Jews made their living, as was quite usual, in commerce and crafts.

The 1931 government survey showed that there were 42 businesses in Salant at that time, 38 of the businesses were owned by Jews (90%). Distribution according to type of business is given in the table below:

 

Type of the Factory Total Owned by Jews
Groceries 10 9
Grain and Flax 5 5
Butcher's shops and Cattle Trade 4 3
Restaurants and Taverns 2 2
Food Products 4 4
Textile Products and Furs 5 5
Leather and Shoes 4 4
Haberdashery and Appliances 1 1
Medicine and Cosmetics 2 1
Watches, Jewels and Optics 1 1
Radio, Sewing machines 1 0
Tools and Steel products 3 3

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According to the same survey there were 2 flourmills and a leather factory owned by Jews in Salant. There was also a Jewish venture in production of wax candles named “Electra”.

From Irwin Sagenkahn's diary on his trip to Salant in June 1996:

Our next stop was to try to locate the old Salant synagogue (see above photo), now a cultural museum. When we got there, the main room was used as a temporary exhibit as a zoo. Again, we took pictures of the inside and outside of the old synagogue. This apparently was also the location of the old town square”.

In 1937, Jews were engaged in 18 different trades in town: 6 butchers, 4 stitchers, 2 shoemakers, 2 barbers, 1 tailor, 1 baker, 1 tinsmith, 1 watchmaker. There was also one Jewish doctor and a Jewish dentist who was a woman.

The Jewish “Folksbank”, which had 126 members in 1927, contributed significantly to the economic life of the town. Two weekly market days were very important in the lives of Salant Jews.

As mentioned above, Salant was a county administrative center. However, only one Jewish delegate represented the community at the county council in 1935.

Since the middle of the 1930s the numbers of Salant Jews declined. The economic crisis in Lithuania as well as the open propaganda of the Lithuanian merchants association “Verslas” against Jewish shops were the reasons Jews began to search for a future elsewhere. The great fire of 1926 destroyed almost half of the town and resulted in many of Salant Jews immigrating to South Africa, America and Eretz–Yisrael. This fire destroyed the Beth–Midrash, 2 Kloises, the Folksbank and the school. 151 families were left homeless and poverty–stricken. In Kovno an assistance committee to help the victims of the fire was organized.

In 1939 there were 24 telephone lines in town, 9 of them belonged to Jews.

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lit4_412.jpg
After the big fire of 1926

 

Salant Jewish children studied at the Hebrew elementary school of the “Tarbuth” chain, and in the afternoons religious subjects were taught at the “Talmud–Torah”. There was also the private Salant Hebrew Kindergarten.

The old Jewish library became an official institution by then and was named after the writer Y.L.Peretz. It had about 1,600 books in Hebrew and Yiddish. The school had a special library for children.

Many of Salant Jews belonged to the Zionist movement, and all the Zionist parties in town had their followers. All these years fundraising activities were organized for the National Funds.

The table below shows how Salant Zionists voted for the different parties at five Zionist Congresses:

 

Congress
Nr.
Year Total
Shekalim
Total Voters Labor Party
Z”S Z”Z
Revisionists General Zionists
A B
Grosmanists Mizrahi
14 1925 60
16 1929 80 45 18 6 11 10
17 1931 30 23 8 2 1 7 5
18 1933 122 72 26 17 7
19 1935 200 134 22 24 20

“Mizrakhi”, “Agudath Yisrael”, “Tseirei Zion”, “Sirkin” (Z”S) and “Betar” had their branches in the town as well. During the years 1932–35 a “Kibbutz Hakhsharah” (Training Kibbutz) of “HeKhalutz” acted in town.

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lit4_413a.jpg
After the big fire of 1926
Salant Hebrew school 1929–30

First line, sitting from left: Leah Sher, Leah Kitayevitz, Hanah Hokhman*, Minah Khi*, Hanah Elsha*, Minah Plotnik*, teacher Molk, teacher Hayah–Henah Ziv, Dinah Yofe, Ela Zik, Braine Yakh, Elkhanan Minster*
Second line, from left: Motl Gordon, Hanah Molk, Devorah Kaplan*, Hayah Levit, Eta Zinger, Roza Yofe, Devorah Abramson, Velve Yankelovitz, Shneur Zaks, Itse–Motl Sher, Avraham Zaks
Third line, from left: Motl–Berl Shmukler, Leizer Zik, Lipe Sandler*, Mendel Hirzon, Mule Khi, Gute Yofe, Freide Gordon, Freide Rabin, Hinde Zaks, Devorah Yofe, Rachel Shulman*, Yente Shakht*
(*) living in Israel, all others perished in the Holocaust
Picture supplied by Elkhanan Minster

 

lit4_413b.jpg
Fourth class of Salant school 1934–35

First line below, from left: Shemuel Khi, Nekhamah Flink, Rachel Levin, Sheine Kitayevitz*
Second line from left: Velvel Leibzon, Yisrael Levin, representative of the Education Ministry, teacher Shereshevsky, teacher?, Ben–Zion Khi
Picture supplied by Elkhanan Minster

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lit4_414a.jpg
Salant Zionist activists with “Khalutsim” from the local “Kibutz Hakhsharah” 1932–35

Kneeling from left: Hinde Zaks, Freide Rabin, Freide Gordon, Khalutz ?
Second line standing from left: Hanah Hokhman*, Ela Zik, Feige Zaks, Freide Zaks, Khalutz?, Khalutsa ?, Leah Sher*, Lipe Sandler
Third line: Esther Yofe, Roza Yofe, Dinah Yofe
Picture supplied by Leah Sher–Grodnik

 

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Young Ladies of Salant 1936

From left: Yentel Shakht, Leah Sher, Leah Sher*, Rachel Levy
Picture supplied by Leah Sher–Grodnik

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The Levy family 1930

First line lying from left: Freide Levy, Toibe Sher–Levy, Pesia Levy
Second line from left: Zuske Levy, Rivkah Levy, Nakhman Levy

 

lit4_415b.jpg
Standing from left: Benjamin Khaitovsky, Yonah Markovitz
Kneeling: Etka Rib, Yitskhak?
Picture supplied by Leah Sher–Grodnik

[Page 416]

Below is an extract of a letter written by Louis Singer on his impressions visiting Salant in April 1937:

I haven't yet told you of the town itself. It consists of a main street about 4 blocks long, 2 parallel streets, one on each side of it at a higher and lower level and 3 intersecting streets. The 1ittle river is in the valley below. A very pretty looking village as you approach the valley and river from the east but as you get into the main street, a picture of squalor and ugliness. There are two story buildings stone or wood, all stores in the main block with residences upstairs but all small. Street was quite wide, no sidewalk or paving. No streetlights, no sewers, no running water, no e1ectricity. Women with rakes picking up manure from the streets… Worst of all––believe this or not––women picking up the human manure in the back yards…The gardens and fields are fertilized with this excreta and it can be seen everywhere and smelled. They think nothing of it, it has been the custom of centuries. The bread is as black as a Sa1ant night and looks like the soi1 from which the flowers grew…

There was also a presence of religious organizations, such as “Tifereth Bakhurim” for boys and “Beth Ya'akov” for girls. Sports were practiced at the “Maccabi” branch, where on average 58 members participated.

Until the great fire of 1926, the old synagogue, the Beth Midrash and the two “Kloises”, served as the center of religious life in Salant. These buildings were used not only as prayer houses but were actually centers for different groups interested in studying the “Torah”.

Among its welfare institutions the town had “Hakhnasath Kalah”, “Linath HaTsedek”, and a women's society for helping the needy. The Rabbi took care of medical treatment for the poor. He would endorse the visits to the local doctor and would buy medication using the “Korobka” funds (tax money raised through slaughtering).

For the list of Rabbis who were appointed in Salant see Appendix 1

 

During World War II and Afterward

In June 1940 Lithuania was annexed to the Soviet Union, becoming a Soviet Republic. Following new rules, several shops belonging to the Jews of Salant were nationalized (Davidov, Movshovitz, Florentz), and commissars were appointed to manage them. All Zionist parties and youth organizations were dismissed. Hebrew educational institutions were closed, and the Hebrew school changed into a Yiddish one.

Supply of goods decreased and, as a result, prices soared. The middle class, mostly Jewish, bore most of the brunt, and the standard of living dropped gradually.

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The German army entered Salant on the first day of the war with the Soviet Union, on June 22nd, 1941. That day the Salant Jews who tried to escape to Russia or to hide in Lithuanian villages, were forced to return to their homes, due to a new order forbidding non–Jews to take in Jews. A number of the runaways were killed on the roads. Only a few managed to reach Russia.

The new rulers, helped by the auxiliary Lithuanian police enacted immediately following the events, ordered all Jewish men to exit their houses and sit on the sidewalks with their feet towards the road. The Lithuanian policeman circled around the sitting men and robbed their money and valuables. Then the men were made to run through the streets of the town, and then get up having fallen down while being whipped they were forced to stand and continue running. The Lithuanian public watching along the streets cheered the policemen on their actions. A few days later, at the end of the month, the Lithuanians burnt the books they confiscated from Jewish homes and prayer houses.

On the first of July 1941 all the Jews were ordered to leave their homes and gather in the synagogue with their money and valuables.

The Lithuanian public watching the Jews leave their homes applauded and immediately burst into the abandoned houses looting all that was left.

The Germans placed big baskets at the synagogue and forced the Jews to throw in their money and valuables. Heavy guard of Lithuanian auxiliary police surrounded the building. Every night ten men would be called out and shot following horrible abusive treatment.

At the beginning of July 150 young women were forced out of the synagogue and sent to Shalin (Salynas) farm to work in agriculture. A number of them were sent to work in the fields of Lithuanian peasants. After four weeks of work at the peasants' farms an order was issued to bring the Jews back to the synagogue. On the 12th of September these young women were taken to a field where pits were dug out beforehand. They were all shot and buried. Only one (Bathyah Abelman Yankelevitz) managed to escape and hide at the peasant's she worked before. He hid her till the liberation.

On the 10th of July all the men who were at the synagogue were taken to the river where they were shot and buried in mass graves on the riverbank. Only two, Dr. Yitskhak Perlis and Ze'ev Shindle couldn't take the abuse and committed suicide.

On the 20th of July (25th of Tamuz 5701) the remaining women and children were skirted to the remote end of the village Shateik (Sateikiai) where they were shot and buried. According to the name list compiled by Salant survivors, 440 Jewish men, women and children were murdered.

Another mass grave was found near the village Shalin, where the 150 young women worked in agriculture.

[Page 418]

lit4_418a.jpg
 
lit4_418b.jpg
The Monument on the Mass Grave beside the Jewish Cemetery of Salant.
The inscription on the tablet in Yiddish and Lithuanian says:
“At this place the Hitlerist murderers and their helpers in 1941 murdered 405 Jews, men, women, children.”

[Page 419]

lit4_419a.jpg
Monument on mass grave near Shalin
According to Soviet sources two mass graves were uncovered near Salant:
one at the Jewish cemetery where 440 corpses were found, time of murder–July 1941;
the second, at the Shateik grove, about 3 km from the village and 8 km from Salant, where 100 corpses of women and children were found, time of murder–July–August 1941.

 

lit4_419b.jpg
 
lit4_419c.jpg
The Monument on the Mass Grave at Shateik Grove
The inscription on the tablet in Yiddish and Lithuanian says:
At this place the Hitlerist murderers and their local helpers in July 1941 murdered 100 Jews Men, women, children.

[Page 420]

lit4_420.jpg
The wooden totem pole near the Jewish cemetery made by sculptor Bunka with the inscription in Lithuanian:
“To the 405 Jews murdered in June 1941 in Salant, in Hebrew – Shema Yisrael.”

[Page 421]

lit4_421a.jpg
 
lit4_421b.jpg
The monument with the inscription in Lithuanian and Yiddish:
“The old Jewish cemetery, sacred is the memory of the dead.”

[Page 422]

Below are the descriptions of the old Jewish cemetery of Salant by Mr. Irwin Sagenkahn who visited it in 1993 and 1996:

June 1993

Following the dirt path that some sort of vehicle had made we continued through the field for about 100 yards to where a fairly new granite monument had been erected. And there it was, the old Jewish cemetery at Salantai.

To our right, a portion of the old cemetery wall remained. There were a number of monuments, maybe 30 in all, six wide and five deep, standing like soldiers in formation. Some of the monuments looked like large pieces of fieldstone with no markings at all. That area was at the top of what might be described as a rolling hill. As I looked at the meadow beyond, it looked just like the meadow in the picture I had of my paternal grandfather's monument (Shemuel Sagenkahn) taken some 70 years earlier.

Of the 30 odd monuments erected in this fashion, not more than six had inscriptions which were halfway legible. I sprayed some shaving cream I had with me to highlight the inscription on one of the monuments and took a picture of it. Egle, (the Lithuanian guide) in the meantime, explored another area 50 to 100 yards down a slight incline and told us she found more tombstones. ~ I had given her the picture of my grandfather's stone which had a wreath at the top. We were all look1ng for a stone with that type of wreath at the top. We were walking through weeds which were knee high and which had heavy shrubbery growth. I suspect the orderly arrangement of the tombstones at the front of the cemetery had been put there within the past few years. I assume those stones were unearthed in the gully area where we found some other monuments. These were sort of scattered in a haphazard arrangement. I am only guessing, but it would appear to me the cemetery was at one time desecrated and the stones were all thrown in the gully area where Egle had located some of the monuments. Maybe some of these monuments were then arranged at the front of .the cemetery for the dedication of the new memorial.

Egle had called to us that she had found a stone with the same type of wreath at the top. Unfortunately, it was not my grandfather's stone. But I sprayed the shaving cream and took a picture of the highlighted engravers. There were other scattered monuments in that area, some slightly overgrown with brush and weeds. That lower section looked exactly like the' location of my grandfather's gravesite. I took some other pictures of other stones, but most unreadable. I was disappointed that I was not able to catalogue those stones that could be read if we had the time to highlight the engravings. Time was passing by rather quickly and we wanted to talk to somebody who might remember my father's family. That new memorial at the front of this overgrown– cemetery had been erected within the past two years. There was also a large totem pole wooden sculpture at least 12 feet high erected in the cemetery dedicated to the 405 Jewish souls murdered in 1941.

[Page 423]

June 1996

When we arrived at the outskirts of Salant, we had pictures taken by the sign that said ‘Salantai’. We decided to visit the Jewish cemetery first since I had remembered its general location. We only had to stop once and ask a woman who was standing at the side of the road. She gave us directions but wanted to know if we were interested in buying her goat.

When we arrived at the cemetery, nothing much had changed in the past three years. The only change was the weed and underbrush growth. Many of the weeds were three feet high or higher. It appeared that some of the tombstones in a gully location were embedded in the ground. I sprayed some shaving cream on two of the stones in an effort to highlight the inscriptions and I took some pictures of these stones.

 

Lit4_423.jpg
Avraham Aba ben Betsalel haLevi
Esther–Etl bath Arieh–Leib wife of Avraham–Abali
Died 11 1900

[Page 424]

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Grunia bath Nathan, died 08 1923

 

Lit4_424b.jpg
Rachel Heiman bath Yosef, died 01 1897

[Page 425]

Sources:

Yad–Vashem Archives: M–33/979; 0–3/1890, 2582, 3548
Gotlib, Ohalei Shem, page 363
HaMeilitz (St. Petersburg) (Hebrew): 5.12.1882, 7.5.1883, 10.8.1883, 27.11.1885, 21.10.1887, 6.6.1888
Dos Vort, Kovno (Yiddish): 23.9.1935
Folksblat, Kovno (Yiddish): 7.8.1935
Unzer Veg (Our way) (Yiddish), Kovno, 2.7.1925
Kovner Tog (Day of Kovno) (Yiddish), 17.6.1926, 18.6.1926

Appendix 1

Partial list of Rabbis who served in Salant

Tsevi Hirsh Broide, for many years he was head of the rabbinical court in Salant. He lived several decades in Jerusalem, where he died in 1865. He used to teach standing up and remained ill with sick legs. He had a great influence upon Rabbi Yisrael Salanter who was his pupil.
Yitskhak Katznelenbogen (1809–1891).
Yehoshua ben Eliyahu Salanter fought against Khasidism together with Leibele Shapiro, Rabbi from Kovno (died in 1853). He was a Rabbi here at the beginning of the 19th century.
Hillel Mileikowski (1819–1899) was the Rabbi in Salant for many years. Reb Hillel was very active in protecting the political interests of Jews in Russia. In 1894, he was a member of the Rabbi's committee, which the Russian Government engaged in handling the status of the Russian Jewry.
Gavriel Fainberg (1825–?), Rabbi in Salant twelve years, died in Memel.
Yosef ben Mosheh Yafe (1846–1897), after Salant from 1893 Rabbi in Manchester (England), where he died.
Meir Altas ben David (1848–1926) was the Yeshiva Head in Telz, in Salant till 1899.
Avraham Aharon Burshtein ben Yehoshua Blumenthal (1867–1926) in Salant from 1900. In the First World War Rabbi in Russia, Rabbi in Bogorodsker Yeshivah and under the Soviets, Rabbi in Cherkas. In 1919 he returned to be a Rabbi in Tavrig. In 1924 he became Rabbi in Rabbi Cook's, “Merkaz Harav” Yeshivah in Jerusalem where he died in November 1926.
Mordehai Yitskhak Rabinowitz (1856–1920), 1902–1916 in Salant from 1917, in Memel where he died in June of 1920.
Mosheh–Yonah Viner (?–1941), perished in the Shoah
Meir–Tsevi Klotz (1884–1941) was the last Rabbi, perished in the Shoah.
Almost all Rabbis published books on Torah or Talmud discussions.

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Appendix 2

List of membership fee payers in “Agudath Yisrael” 1913

Nakhum Yankelevitz,
Yom Tov Lipman–Ziv,
Nekhemyah Gitkin,
Bendet Zegerman,
Yekhezkel–Meir Berman,
Duber Zagen (?),
Nathan–Yakov Berkovitz,
Avraham–Mordehai Alsha (?),
Tsevi–Hirsh Grinker,
Yitskhak Patsinke,
Azriel Zaks,
Shemuel–David Yoselevitz,
Aba Zilber,
Shemuel Tsiz,
Mosheh Plotnik,
Alter Dines,
Elkhanan Zagenkhan,
Meir Gerb,
Zalman Taits,
Mosheh Fritsl,
Yehudah–Leib Heiman,
Shaul Movshovitz,
Zalman Melamed,
Yitskhak–Leib Yofe,
David Davidov,
Tuviyah Kangiser,
Shelomoh Vainer,
Refael–Tsevi Movshovitz,
Shelomoh Kaplan.

Appendix 5

Partial list of personalities born in Salant

Nakhum Yudelevitz (1862–?), wealthy man and public worker, was the representative of the Odessa committee of “Khibath Zion” movement, delegate to four Zionist congresses (7, 10, 11, 13), since 1921 in Riga and since 1933 in Eretz Yisrael, one of the founders of the glass factory “Gavish”, died in Tel Aviv.
Ya'akov Berman (1878–?), studied at the Telz Yeshivah, one of the leaders of the “Mizrakhi” party, delegate to the 12th 13th and 14th Zionist congresses, published articles in the Jewish press. Since 1921 in Eretz–Yisrael, was Deputy Director of the Education Department and Principal Supervisor of the “Mizrakhi” education chain. Director of a Religious–Pedagogic institution in Rekhovoth.
Rabbi Yehudah Asher Ginsburg (1760–1823) was the father of Mordehai Aharon Ginsburg. One of the famous scholars in Vilna and Hebrew writers. He left a manuscript as a composition of grammar and algebra.
Rabbi Yosef Zundel Salanter born in 1786 in Salant, one of the founders of “Muser Shita” (Ethics–on relations between people). Teacher of Yisrael Salanter. Reb Yosef Zundel was a pupil of Rabbi Akiva Eiger and Rabbi Hayim Wolozhiner. Father– in–law of Rabbi Shemuel Salanter. He refused to be in the Rabbinate. Except for a few hours of merchandising, he studied Torah. He wore simple clothes and conducted himself in a most modest way. Many stories were told about his modest behavior. In 1838 Yosef Zundel emigrated to Jerusalem Israel, where he was a teacher for 3 years, then gave his job over to his son–in–law Shemuel Salant. He helped organize groups to rebuild and improve the synagogue “HaKhurvah”. He lived in a small dark room, supporting himself by producing vinegar and was satisfied with some fruit juice. He was fasting, studied Torah, and prayed for redemption. Many people came to him daily asking some. He died of cholera in 1865. His son Yehudah Aryeh Leib and his two daughters were all married in Salant and lived there with their families.

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Rabbi Mosheh Aronson was born here in 1805. He served for many years in different towns in Lithuania. In 1862, he became Rabbi at “Adath Yeshurun” in New York. He had an argument and fight for everything that is holy.
It became uncomfortable for him to live in New York, so he moved to Jerusalem Israel, but he died on the way. He died in Chicago, July 1875.
Efraim Cohen born 1829. In 1858 graduated from Rabbinate Seminar in Vilna. He was appointed as an inspector for various Jewish problems. He was called by the Russian Government to join the St. Petersburg Rabbis committee.
Rabbi Naftali Amsterdam one of the best pupils of Yosef Zundel Salanter and Yisrael Salanter born here in 1832. In 1867 he became Rabbi in Helsingfors. From 1876 he was the ritual slaughterer, and assistant to Reb Yitzkhak Blazer in Petersburg. Later he was Rabbi in Yasven and Aleksot. Left the Rabbinate and settled in Kovno, and supported himself by his wife's bakery. In 1902 he immigrated to Jerusalem where he was spreading ideas of the Ethics group. Died in Jerusalem in 1916.
Avraham Aryeh Leib, son of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter born in 1839. Head of Beth Din (Rabbinical court) in Brezna.
Elkhanan Kahan was the representative in Petersburg of Yisrael Salanter and Elinke Kretinger to deliver important news about plans the Russian Government has regarding Jews. He died in 1879.
Dr. Lipman Lipkin son of Yisrael Salanter, born here in 1846 graduated from Universities of Yena and Petersburg, famous mathematician. Died in Petersburg in 1876.
Duber Manishewitz, 1858–1914, manufacturer of famous Matzoth in America.
Luis Lurie born in 1887, lived in Boston, from 1917 he was a docent of Psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati, co–worker of the American Journal of Psychology.
William L. Lawrence one of the inventors of the Atomic Bomb, born here in 1888, left Salant in 1905. His name in Salant was Yehudah Leib Wolf Ziv. His father owned a pharmacy in town.
Yisrael Salanter and Shemuel Salant were not born from Salant, but it would be unjust not to mention those two geniuses as they carry the name of Salant and have lived there for many years.
Yisrael Salanter (Lipkin) was born in October 1810 in Zhager. He is the creator of “Ethics System”, which put a stamp on the religious Jewry in Lithuania and far beyond its borders. After his marriage with Esther Feiga, daughter of Ya'akov Aizenstein, he lived many years in Salant and was one of a group of great scholars there. They studied in the house of a wealthy man who supported everyone with all necessities. In 1849 he built a Yeshivah in Kovno, which became the center of the Ethics movement. A great literature was developed about Yisrael Salanter and about his preaching group, as this was against the centuries long traditional style of teaching in the Yeshivoth.

[Page 428]

He published many books dealing with his “Ethics System”. Yisrael died in Koenigsberg in 1903.
Rabbi Shemuel Salant is not a born of Salant. He was born in Bialystok. After his marriage to the daughter of Yosef Zundel, he lived for several years in Salant. He was one of the great scholars who lived and studied in the section of town that the wealthy Reb Eliah, son of Nekhemyah gave them. In 1841 he and his wife immigrated to Jerusalem where he was chosen to be Rabbi by the Ashkenazi community. He died in July 1879.
Ber Folkenson born in Salant 1746. Originally he was a merchant in Lithuania and Prussia. Later in 1772 he graduated in Medicine in Berlin and practiced in Mohilev, Petersburg and Hozenput. He started writing songs in German and in 1772 his book of songs “Poems of Polish Jew” was published. He died in 1781.
Mordehai Aharon Ginzburg born in Salant in 1795. Father of the new Hebrew prose. From 1835 lived in Vilna. There with Shelomoh Zalman Zalkin, he established one of the first modern schools for Jewish students. He published many books and articles in Hebrew. He died in 1846.
Shaul Hurvitz, scholar and writer. He was also a lawyer for 15 years. In his book “Maimonides” he discusses Rambams “Laws of loot and loss” that explains which laws match the laws of the Russian code and which laws do not.
Eliezer Shulman (1837–1904), Hebrew writer and translator. Wrote stories in the Hebrew periodicals “HaShakhar”, “HaMeilitz” and others. Translated Victor Hugo's famous book “Les Miserables” into Hebrew (Odessa 1867), wrote monographs about Heine and Berne. He was the first one in Hebrew who researched the Yiddish language and its literature. He died in Kiev where he lived for a long time.
Yosef–Hayim Yafe (1865–1938), since 1892 in New York where he worked in turnery, his book “Gezangen” (Songs) in Yiddish was published in New York on his 70 birthday.
Yitskhak Mirkin (1871–1941), since 1913 he lived in Petakh–Tikvah, later in Jerusalem. Teacher of “Talmud”, Psychology and Pedagogic at the “Mizrakhi” seminar in Jerusalem. In 1901 graduated in Philosophy from the Bern University. Published songs, articles and books about educational and philosophical problems. Died in Jerusalem.

[Page 429]

Appendix 6

Partial List of Salant Emigrants to America 1905–1921 as recorded at Ellis Island

Below are the “Hebrew” listings for Salant on Stephen Morse's Ellis Island web site. Frequently only Russian and not Hebrew, Russian was listed, so those names are not shown below. Hopefully some of the readers will find their family members here. Use the Internet site below to access the ship records.

Supplied by Elaine Cohen, Los Angeles

http://home.pacbell.net/spmorse/ellis/ellisjw.html

Name, town, year, age Name, town, year, age

Abrahams,Ranye Salanti 1905 30y
Berman,Isidor Salanty 1905 19y
Bonk,Aizik Salanty, Russia 1911 40y
Bunish,Hene Salanten, Russia 1907 24y
Colbin,Reiza Salanty, Lithuan 1921 20y
Colbin,Sare Riwe Salanty, Lithuan 1921 24y
Deutscher,Anna Salanten, Russia 1912 29y
Deutscher,Boris Salanten, Russia 1912 34y
Deutscher,Israel Salanten, Russia 1912 3y
Deutscher,Leo Salanten, Russia 1912 3y
Deutscher,Maria Salanten, Russia 1912 7y
Dimant,Meyer Salanten, Russia 1910 22y
Dowgowsky,Chaim Salanten, Rus. 1908 32y
Fishel,Moses Salanten, Russia 1907 18y
Gerb,Gite Salantz 1903 19y
Heer,Gittel Salantai, Lithuania 1921 41y
Heer,Minna Salantai, Lithuania 1921 15y
Heer,Rochel Salantai, Lithuania 1921 13yv Heymann,Herz Salanty 1907 18y
Hurwitz,Judel Salanten, Russia 1910 21y
Jacob,Mina Salante, Russia 1907 47y
Jakab,Mali Salante, Hungary 1909 8y
Jamis,Ebbe Salanton, Russia 1913 20y
Joschelowitz,Tewje Salanten, Rus. 1908 20y
Joselsan,Moische Salant, Russia 1911 18y
Kaganowski,Isler Clometh, Russia 1906 32y
Kahan,Blume Schalanty 1907 17y
Kahan,Mendel Schalanty 1907 39y
Kahn,Feige Saland 1906 32y
Kahn,Jankel Saland 1906 4y
Kahn,Sore Saland 1906 3y
Katz,Blume Salanty, Russia 1911 17y
Kirsch,Chane Saland 1905 45y
Kirsch,Feiwel Saland 1905 15y
Kirsch,Heisch Solonty 1903 20y
Kirsch,Loser Salanty 1904 45y
Klausner,Abel Salant 1905 17y
Klausner,Elke Salant 1905 24y
Kleimann,Boruch Slonita, Russia 1909 7y
Kleimann,Chajes Slonita, Russia 1909 9y
Kleimann,Rochel Slonita, Rus. 1909 30y
Klein,Lina Salante, Hungary 1909 16y
Kolector,Abrum Sielant 1906 9y
Kolector,Beer Sielant 1906 2y
Kolector,Hennie F. Sielant 1906 10y
Kolector,Rose Sielant 1906 30y
Kolector,Taube Sielant 1906 3y
Kolector,Wolf Sielant 1906 4y
Krawitz,Leiver Schalanty, Rus. 1913 32y
Lessem,Moses Salanten, Russia 1910 27y
Lewin,Sure Gitel Salanten 1904 22y
Lewit,Hinde Salanty, Russia 1910 19y
Lewit,Rochel Salanty, Russia 1910 17y
Lipschutz,Hinda Salant, Rus. 1907 65y
Paul,Beige Salanty, Lith. 1921 17y
Paul,Chaje Salanty, Lith. 1921 22y
Paul,Israel Salanty, Lith. 1921 60y
Paul,Sora Salanty, Lith. 1921 55y
Plung,Cjike Salanton, Russia 1913 18y
Plung,Selik Salanty 1907 19y
Pups,Bine Salantin, Russia 1913 22
Rogolsky,Schloma Salanty, Russia 1911 17y
Sagermann,Leiser Salanten 1905 17y
Sandler,Eide Salanty,Kowno, Rus. 1907 25y
Sandler,Scheine Salanty,Kowno,R 1907 50y
Sayal,Nachem Salantz 1899 19y
Schkolny,Pesse Salanty, Kowno 1908 19y
Schkolny,Sroel Salanty, Kowno 1908 22y
Siew,Leibe Salanten 1905 16y
Simpson,Schmul Salante, Russia 1911 21y
Simsohn,Abe Salanten, Russia 1910 20y
Simson,Zusie Salant, Russia 1907 19y
Slowe,Blines Salantin, Russia 1913 9mo
Slowe,Leie Salantin, Russia 1913 27
Slowe,Moritz Salantin, Russia 1913 36
Slowe,Phane Salantin, Russia 1913 2
Taitz,Mendel Salanty, Lithuan. 1921 17y
Takefman, M… Salantz 1904 4…y
Wolpert, Chine Salanten, Russia 1907 18y
Wolpert, Gerson Salanten, Russia 1907 8y
Wolpert,Gnesche Salanten, Russia 1907 9y
Wolpert,Reise Salanten, Russia 1907 45y
Wolpert,Roche Salanten, Russia 1907

 

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