« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Page 43]

Grinkiškis (Grinkishok)

55°34' 23°38'

Grinkiskis (Grinkishok in Yiddish) is a town in central Lithuania, about 35 km. northwest of the district administrative center of Kedainiai, sprawling on the shores of the Susve River. An estate under the name Grinkiskis was mentioned in historical documents dating back to the sixteenth century. During the Russian rule (1795–1915), the town was included under the jurisdiction of the Vilna Province (Gubernia), and since 1843, in the Kovno Gubernia. In the middle of the nineteenth century, Grinkishok became a county administrative center. The town maintained its status during the period of Independent Lithuania (1918–1940). During that period, in addition to the county offices, thirty shops and ateliers were maintained by local business people. During World War I the town was almost totally destroyed by heavy military action.

Old documents of the seventeenth century mention a wooden synagogue in Grinkishok, proving that at that time there was already a Jewish community in this town. Jews made their living in commerce, crafts and agriculture.

The list of contributors for the victims of the famine in Persia in 1871–1872 included 67 names of Grinkishok Jews, as published in the Hebrew newspaper HaMagid (see Appendix 1).

On the list of contributors for The Settlement of Eretz–Yisrael, names of 33 Grinkishok Jews appear, as published in the Hebrew newspaper HaMelitz (see Appendix 2).

In 1886 there were 558 Jewish residents, and by 1897 the numbers had swelled to 924. In spite of impressive growth of the Grinkishok population in the second half of the nineteenth century, the economic situation of the Jews was difficult. A report published by a local man in HaMelitz in May 1883 stated that during the last two years there were no candles in the Beth Midrash and no heating fuel, and the Gabaim's efforts to raise money were fruitless because the “buyers” of the aliyoth latorah were not able to pay. The situation was so bad, that a policeman would collect the debts on behalf of the authorities.

A year before, the same newspaper announced that a Gemiluth Hesed society had been established in Grinkishok by the initiative of a young learned man Falek Kantorovitz.

The community had its own cemetery and a Heder as well as its own Shohet who also provided services to the nearby community of Beisagole (Baisogala).

[Page 44]

Rabbi Aryeh–Leib Duber ben Tsevi–Hirsh HaLevi Volpert served in Grinkishok from 1872 until World War I. From 1934, the official rabbi of the town was Meir–Leib Matz. He was also the last rabbi of that community and was murdered by the Lithuanians in 1941.

In 1921, four years after the establishment of Independent Lithuania, there were 250 Jewish persons living in Grinkishok. In the elections for the first Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania in 1922, 130 Grinkishok Jews cast their votes for the Jewish lists: 84 voted for the Zionists, 38 for Akhduth (Agudath–Yisrael) and 8 for the Democrats.

According to the first population census, conducted by the government in 1923, there were 972 residents in town, of whom 235 (24%) were identified as Jews.

During that period, just as before the war, Jews derived their livelihood from shopkeeping and trades. Commercial activities took place mainly on a Tuesday, which was the weekly market day. According to the Government survey conducted in 1931, Jews of Grinkishok owned seven shops: three textile shops, two butchers, one watchmaker and jeweler, and one shop selling Singer sewing machines. The Jews also owned two flourmills and a bakery. In 1937, there were eight Jewish tradespeople: four butchers, one baker, one barber, one tailor and one photographer.

In 1939, there were 20 telephone subscribers in Grinkishok; four of them were Jewish.

A segment of Grinkishok Jews were supporters of the Zionist movement.

The results of the elections to the Zionist congresses are given in the table below:


Year Total Shkalim Total Votes Labor Party
Revisionists General
Grosmanists Mizrahi
16 1929 9 9 5 4
17 1931 8 8 7 1
18 1933 51 27 6 17 1
19 1935 22 12 9 1

Among the Zionist youth organizations, Benei–Akiva is listed as an active one.

[Page 45]

During the Soviet rule (1940–1941), Zionist activity was forbidden and several businesses were nationalized, including Jewish businesses.

When the German army invaded the Soviet Union on June 22nd, 1941, there were still twenty Jewish families living in Grinkishok. At the end of August 1941, armed Lithuanians led all the Jews to the nearby town of Krok (Krakes), and there, on September 2nd, 1941 (10th of Elul, 5701) they were murdered together with the Jews of Krakes and the surrounding areas.


Yad Vashem archives, Jerusalem; M–9/15(6)
Gotlib – Ohalei Sheim, page 34
HaMelitz, St. Petersburg; 28.5.1883; 12.11.1884

[Page 46]


The mass grave and the monument, near the village of Pestinukai about 1.5 km from Krakes

[Pages 47-49]

Appendix 1

A List of 67 Grinkishok donors for the victims of the Persian Famine in 1872
as published in HaMagid in 1872

(JewishGen. Org. Databases, compiled by Jeffery Maynard)


Surname Given Name Comments
BROIDA Chaim Tzvi Rabbi Gaon
HACOHEN Eliezer Chaim  
HACOHEN Yitzhok  
HALEVI Zelig  
KAPLAN Boruch boy
KAPLAN Meir ben Yoel  
KAPLAN Toba bas Yuda Eliezer woman
KAPLAN Yehuda Eliezer ben Yoel  
KAPLAN Yitzchok ben Y  
KAPLAN Yosef ben Yoel  
KATZ Meir ben Avraham  
KIRANEL Yisroel  
MILNER Dovid ben Dov  
ROFE Ari  
SANDLER Aharon ben Yosef  
WEINER Dovid  
WEINER Meir ben Yitzchok  
WEINER Reuven ben Yuda  
YAKOBZOHN Yakov Noson  
ZAK Moshe ben Shlomo  
  Aharon ben Tzvi Yitzchok  
  Avraham Note ben Yisroel  
  Boruch ben Binyomin  
  Dov ben Yakov boy
  Dov son of Rabbi Yechezkel  
  Dovid ben Yosef boy
  Eli ben Meir brother of Tzvi
  Eli ben Moshe  
  Eliezer ben Moshe  
  Eliezer ben Shlomo  
  Ita woman
  Kalman ben Nachum boy
  Leib ben Yitzchok  
  Meir ben Yehuda father of Yehuda Leib
  Meir Tzvi ben Moshe  
  Menachem ben Avraham  
  Mordechai ben Yehoshua  
  Moshe ben Yakov  
  Nachum ben Yosef  
  Shalom Meir nephew of Eli ben Meir
  Shimon ben Shalom  
  Shlomo ben Yehuda  
  Shmuel ben Yosef  
  Shraga Mordechai ben Eli  
  Tanchum ben Yehuda  
  Tzvi ben Meir brother of Eli
  Tzvi Hirsh ben Nachum s–i–l of the Rabbi
  Yakov Reuven ben Tzvi  
  Yakov Shraga ben Yuda  
  Yakov Yechiel ben Avraham  
  Yechezkel ben Shlomo  
  Yechiel ben Shmariahu  
  Yehuda Leib ben Meir ben Yehuda  
  Yehuda Leib ben Tzvi from Kairenai (Kiran)
  Yisroel Yehuda Sha”tz & Shu”b
  Yosef Dov ben Moshe  
  Yosef Meir ben Yehuda  
  Yuda ben Yakov  
  Yuda Eliezer wife of
  Zadok ben Yosef boy
  Zalman ben Yakov  
  Zev ben Yechezkel  

[Pages 50-51]

Appendix 2

A List of 33 Grinkishok contributors for the benefit of Settlement of Eretz Yisrael,
as published in HaMelitz in the years 1898–1902

(JewishGen. Org. Databases, compiled by Jeffery Maynard)
Note: Under “Source” all are from the publication “Hamelitz.”

Surname Given Name Comments Source Year
KAPLAN Boruch in Johannesburg, SA #102 1898
WOLPERT Ari Leib ravbbi gaon ABD #137 1900
WOLPERT Ari Leib ravbbi gaon ABD #137 1900
YAKOBZOHN Shmuel Yitzchok in Johannesburg, SA #102 1898
YAKOBZOHN Tzvi Hirsh in Johannesburg, SA #102 1898
BREGMAN Moshe   #232 1902
BREGMAN Zev   #232 1902
BRUK Yisroel   #233 1902
COHEN Moshe from Gilwan #233 1902
COHEN Moshe husband of Chaya Lipshitz wed 14 Elul in Grinkiskis #232 1902
GLIK Meir   #232 1902
GORDON Avraham Yosef   #232 1902
HEILIGMAN Gershon shu”b #232 1902
KAPLAN B   #232 1902
KAPLAN Shmuel Binyomin   #233 1902
KIRSHTEIN Aharon   #232 1902
KIRSHTEIN Miriam   #232 1902
KIRSHTEIN Tuvia   #232 1902
LIPSHITZ Chaya wife of Moshe Cohen wed 14 Elul in Grinkiskis #232 1902
LUBIANTZKIN Z from Keidan #233 1902
MAGID Rochel   #232 1902
MARKAN Sarah   #232 1902
MARKN Avraham Yitzhok   #233 1902
MOLK Yosef   #233 1902
PROK Yosef   #232 1902
SANDLER Matitiahu   #232 1902
WEIGER Yisroel   #233 1902
WEINER Leib   #232 1902
WEINER Tzipa   #232 1902
WEINER Yisroel   #232 1902
YAKOBSON Mani   #232 1902
YOSELOWITZ Yitzchok   #232 1902
YOTKIN Zalkind Leib   #232 1902


« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose
of fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without permission of the copyright holders: Josef Rosin z”l and Joel Alpert.

JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation.The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

  Protecting Our Litvak Heritage     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page

Yizkor Book Director, Lance Ackerfeld
This web page created by Jason Hallgarten

Copyright © 1999-2024 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 02 Jan 2019 by JH