« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Col. 989]

People, Streets and Organizations

Yitzkhak Viduchinsky and Ruven Muller

Translated by Janie Respitz



Ruven Muller

Yitzkhak Viduchinsky


Similar to many other towns in Lithuania, Ignalina had 14 streets and only half of one street was paved with cobblestones. This went from the train station until Yisroel–Noyekh Aron. Half of the other streets also had the privilege of having wooden sidewalks.

A large fire bell hung on a pole. The houses were small and built from wood. The only house with a fence belonged to Nekhemiah Brumberg.

There was no electric lighting in town. Small gas lamps hung from ceilings and stood on dressers. The large house of prayer had an extra bright oil lamp which was used for Chanukah and other celebrations.

Many poor people lived in our town. If someone would bring a chicken to the ritual slaughterer mid– week, everyone would ask: “who is sick?”.

In town there were various artisans, peddlers, teamsters and also merchants. The youth, facing great poverty, but with courage and stubbornness, looked for a way to improve their tomorrows.

The economic situation was difficult, often hopeless, but the youth did not give up. They carried on with cultural activities and filled their hearts with faith and confidence.

[Col. 990]

Ignalina did not have a rich history. There was not even a church. The land belonged to the nobleman Kaminsky, who had a son Ignatz and a daughter Galina. The new town was named for both of them: Igna–Lina.

Ignalina was blessed with a picturesque landscape, surrounded by a chain of lakes, beautiful pine forests, and short hills. The road to the town's lake was lined with a row of tall, thick trees. Many families from Polish cities would come for the summer. In the surrounding pine forests, Polish scouts from



The Main Street. The Big Misnagdish Synagogue

[Col. 991]

Krakow and Warsaw would set up camp. During the Second World War, when Ignalina belonged to the Lithuanian–Soviet Republic, people from Leningrad would come for the summer months.

There are fourteen lakes within 4 kilometres of Ignalina, making it a fishing centre. Some Jews were involved in the fishing industry. The Jews that leased the lakes were: Shmuel Yosef Gilinsky from Paliush, Leyzer Gavenda from Meran, Shloime Gavenda, Berl Gavenda, Shloime Gilinsky from Gavikan, Zalmen Yidl Soloveychik, Uria Katz, Meir Yosef Glaz, Yoel Gilinsky, Khaim Shneiderovitch and others.

The Jewish fishermen would spend days and nights on the lakes catching fish, that would be sent by train to Vilna.


Forest– Merchants

In the winter, various types of wood were brought from the forest to the trains by horse drawn sleighs. They were brought to the saw mill then exported throughout the land and to other countries as well. Those who worked in this field were: Berl Soloveychik, Yisroel Soloveychik, Yitzkhak Soloveychik,Herzl Gurvitch, Shmuel Gilinsky, Yerakhmiel Korb, Meir Gilinsky, Dovid Soloveychik and others.



Business of meat and chickens was run by

[Col. 992]

Hillel Kril, Eynhorn and others who sent the meat to various larger cities in Poland.



The Mushkin brothers, Vinyunsky, Moishe–Yitzkhak and Nekhemiah Brumberg transported a variety of grains to the mills including flax which was sent to textile factories.


The Market

Market day in Ignalina was Thursday. On this day all the shopkeepers, blacksmiths, shoemakers and tailors awaited merchants and shopkeepers from the surrounding towns and did business with a variety of goods, produce, cows and horses, goats and chickens.

When the sun began to set, the noise quietened and everyone did his calculations from the day. The peasants harnessed their horses, the shopkeepers counted their profit, businessmen looked at their bargains and butchers inspected the cows and calves they bought. Everyone was pleased market day was over.

Sometimes it happened, the peasants would begin drinking and noise and fights would ensue. The Jewish boys would stand and watch them taste their own medicine.



The Jewish Folk–Shul 1930

[Col. 993]

Cultural and Educational Work

The first general Jewish Folk–Shul was founded in the early 1920s in a small room in the home of Avrom Rutshteyn. The founders were: Bere Gilinsky, Nekhemiah Brumberg, Yosef Eynhorn, and Khaim Gilinsky. The teachers were: Shloime Kraytzer, Levinson and Vengrov. At the same time the beadle for the prayer house, Chaim Sneiderovitch, taught the boys bible studies.

At the same time a library was founded and a drama club was organized. The participants were: Herzl Gurvitch, Dovid Soloveychik, Dobe Kraytzer, Dvoyre Soloveychik, Shteyn, Dobe Katz, and Gershon Kideshman. When the Tarbut School was later founded by the cultural organizers Yerkhmiel Korb, Leybe–Khaim Elperin, Milkhiker and others, a second drama club was founded. The leaders were Moishe Soloveychik, Elke Gilinsky, Rivke Sharfman, Rivke Gilinsky, Sholem Gilinsky, Yosef Gilinsky, Rokhl Eynhorn and others.

[Col. 994]


The Board of the Jewish Folk–Shul

Seated: Gershon Kideshman, Soreh Soloveychik, Dvoyre Soloveychik, ____, Mikhle Vaynshteyn, ____, Dovid Soloveychik, Freda Gurvitch, Avrom Vaynshteyn, Pola Viduchinsky, Bayle Katz, Yudl Viduchinsky, Khasye Vaynshteyn, Zalman Katz, Sholem Gilinsky


Political Organizations

The first political organization founded in our town was “HeChalutz” (the Pioneer). The founders of HeChalutz were:

Avrom Kril, Tevey Rapaport, Sholem Gilinsky.



Tarbut School

Lying down: Shloime Hamer, ____Perlmuter, Etl Rayn, Dogim,___Itzikson, Gavenda, Asne Dubinsky, Dovid Aron, Leyb Korb, Dovid Gavenda, ____, Libke___, Tsivia Gdud, Monke Gurvitch, Biteh Litovitch, Khasriel Rayn, Taybe Rapaport, ____,____, Mikhal Perlmuter, Zvi Gilinsky, Rivke Milkhiker, ___,___,___, Rokhl Itzikson, ____Landa, Reyzl Gavenda, Khaya ____, Pesia Aron, Leyble Itzikson, Tevye Brumberg, Yisroel Ilitovitch, Etl Itzikson, Zise Shapiro, Berl Gilinsky, Mordkhai Gurvitch, Dovid Rayn, Eliyahu ____, Ruven Rayn, ___, Yitzkhak Postavsky, Avrom Opeskin, Zvi Khaim Postavsky, Sholem Aron
Standing: Simkha Dubinsky, Henekh____, Rivke Sharfman, Rokhl Eynhorn, Elke Soloveychik, Khana Gilinsky, Frume Krimilsky, Moishe Soloveychik, Khana Leah Elperin, Moishe Korb, Rokhl Kril, Eliyau Gdud, Fayge Elperin, Vanyunsky, teacher, Y. Kaplan, Miriam Golub, ___, Rayze Gilinsky, Mikhal Sharfman, Velvl Kril, Bayle Soloveychik, Etl Gilinsky, Yente Krimilisky, Esther Kril, Rivke Gilinsky
In the middle: Yiroel Korb, Ruven Aron, Yitzkhok____, Dovid Shayderovitch, Shprintze Korb, Ite Elperin, Sonia Milkhiker, Hertz____, Shmuel Shapir

[Col. 995]


Pioneers in the land 1925
Zaman Bernshteyn, Yitzkhok Shutan, Avrom Kril, Motl Vilkomirsky


“HeChalutz” built an agricultural training camp on the shores of the Green Lake.

Besides Hechalutz, there was also the revisionist Organization in Ignalina. Its founder was Dr. Yosef Rubinshteyn. Those active were: Aron Gilinsky, Ruven Muler, Eliyah Korb. The last one went to the Land of Israel and enlisted with L'Chai. He was arrested, exiled and suffered greatly at the hands of the British.

There was also an illegal Communist party, where there was vivacious activity. For their Communist activity Gavenda was sent into exile

[Col. 996]


A football team in the First World War


to Kartuz Bereze and Ruven Brumberg was sent to prison.


The Football (Soccer) Team

The team was comprised of: Yoyne Gavenda, Sholem Gilinsky, Khaim and Feyve Gilinsky, Shmerke Kuritsky, Aron Gilinsky, Yakov Dogim and others.


The People's Bank

The People's Bank was part of Vilna Central. The following were involved: Tsesler, the chairman was Hillel Kril. The bank allowed the poor Jewish people to stand on their own two feet.



Pioneers in the Land 1926
Yosef Kuritsky, Yisroel Tsarnatsky, Avrom Kril, Yitzkhok Ligumsky, Yehuda Perevaznik

[Col. 997]

Volunteer Fire Department

The volunteer Fire Department in town was comprised mainly of Jews. The firefighters formed a horn orchestra

[Col. 998]

that played for all the Jewish organizations no matter which political movement. The orchestra also sve



The Fire Department

Seated: Sholem Leyb Gordon, Yerakhmiel Korb, Meir Muler, – Captain Ber Gilinsky, Abbe Gilinsky, Abba Katz, Eliyah Gdud, Yudl Vidutshinsky, Gershon Segal, Dovid Soloveychik




Lying down: Dobe____, Rayzl Gilinsky,___,
Seated: Moishe Korb, Frume Krimilisky, Elke Soloveychik, Yisroel Korb,____Postavsky, ____, Khane Gilinsky, Berl Hamer
Standing: Esther Kril, Miriam Golub, the teacher Rokhl Eynhorn, Shaul Okun, teacher___, Feyge Elperin
Standing in the back: Etl Gilinsky, Velvl Kril, ___, Moishe Soloveychik, Velvl Gilinsky, Yose Leybshteyn, Yente Krimilisky

[Col. 999]

The Religious Life

When the town was founded there was a Misnagdish (Rabbinic) prayer house and a Hasidic prayer group. When Jews arrived in Ignalina from Gavikan and Paliush they brought their brought their two small synagogues with them. That is how Ignalina gained four places of worship. The Rabbi was Moishe Aron Chait who was ordained by Rabbi Raynes. The Rabbi was in fact quite liberal and understood the youth.

For a long time, the ritual slaughterer in town was Reb Khone Katz. He was a quiet, calm Jew, very good natured,

ignoring the harassment by the authorities in

[Col. 1000]

Ignalina, and in the last years before the war, displayed a strong drive for life. We saw the first graduates from the Vilna High School, the Tarbut High School, and Oks High School. Students came from Vilna University.

In the summer, great literary figures would come to Ignalina like Avrom Sutzkever, Shmerke Kacherginsky and others. They would stay at the Jewish pension near the first lake. Members of the Vilbig choir would enrich the cultural activity in town. The festive letters received from the Ignalina pioneers in the Land of Israel awoke and uplifted the spirits of the people. All these budding hopes were destroyed by dark, black powers. 600 Jewish souls from Ignalina, Paliush and Gavikan were annihilated.



Pioneers from Svenciony and Ignalina

Lying down: Ruven Muler, Etl Gilinsky, Shifra Layfer, Pine Shulhoyfer
Standing: Moishe Korb
Kneeling: Rokhl Eynhorn,Berl Gavisser, Frume Krimilisky, Khana Leah Elperin, Eliezer Shapiro, Velvel Zaydl, Khana Gilinsky, Rayzl Gilinsky, Lale Yovitch, ___, Khasia Rapapport, Kaplan the teacher, Leyb Zesiantik, Velvl Sharfman, Sholem Kuritsky, Moishe Eynhorn,Gurvich, ___, Dovid Postavsky, Velvl Kril
On the side: Dvoyre Soloveychik, Moishe Ginzburg, Itzik Gilinsky, ___, Elke Bikson, ___, ___, Moishe Soloveychik, Dovid Shapiro




« 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 JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.

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.

  Svencionys, Lithuania     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page

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

Copyright © 1999-2023 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 4 Nov 2019 by LA/i>