“Gudeliai” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania

54° 31' / 23° 41'

Translation of the “Gudeliai” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Lita

Written by Dov Levin

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 185)


In Yiddish, Gudel

Written by Dov Levin

Translated by Shimon Joffe

A large village and the center of a country in the Marijampole district in southern Lithuania, 13 km distant from Balbiriskis. There was a Jewish presence in the town already in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. In the list of donors for the settlement of Eretz Yisrael in those years, names of Gudeliai Jews appear.

According to the census taken by the independent Lithuania in 1923, there were 200 Jews in both parts of the settlement. 171 in part one and 22 in the second part. They lived off shop keeping, craftwork and auxiliary farming. According to a survey made by the Lithuanian government in 1931, Jews possessed 2 flour mills, 2 lumber mills, one tavern, an oil press and a brick kiln.

11 voters participated in the elections to the 19th Zionist Congress, in the year 1935. 10 gave their votes to the Eretz Yisrael Labor list and one voted Mizrakhi.

Economic and other factors lay behind the gradual decrease in the Jewish population in Gudeliai. Less than half the above number of Jews was to be found in the village at the outbreak of World War Two. Their fate was the same as that of their brethren in Balbierskis and the others in the surrounding area. Each and every one was killed by Lithuanians in the service of the Germans. According to Lithuanian Soviet sources, 100 Gudeliai victims were murdered on July 23, 1941, in the forest near Azuolu Buda, at the 23 km. mark on the Marijampole-Kovno road, some 500 m. to the left of the road.


Masines Zudynes Lietuvoje (Mass Murders in Lithuania), Vol 2, p. 267.

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