“Pravieniskes” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania
(Pravieniškės, Lithuania)

54° 55' / 24° 14'

Translation of the “Pravieniskes” 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 501)


In Yiddish, Pravenishok

Written by Josef Rosin

Translated by Shaul Yannai

A village in the district of Kaunas, in an area of forests and peat fields, 7 km northeast of Rumsiskes. In 1923, the village had 406 residents. During the period of Independent Lithuania (1918-1940) and during the period of Soviet Rule (1940-1941) there was a labor camp in Pravieniskes, which used criminal and political prisoners in mining the peat. In June 1941, after Germany conquered Lithuania, the political prisoners were freed, and they were replaced with Soviet prisoners and also Jews who tried to escape to the interior of Russia or hide from Lithuanian murderers in the surrounding areas. Also, a week before the ghetto was established in Kaunas, hundreds of Jews, who were kidnapped from their homes in Kaunas on August 7, 1941, were brought to Pravieniskes. Terror reigned in the camp and every few days a selection was conducted, after which the ill and weak were taken outside the camp and were shot to death. There was at least one incident, when Jewish prisoners tried to resist their execution by attempting to escape from the camp, but they were all caught and were shot. Only 2 succeeded in escaping from the camp, after they were able to overcome the Lithuanian camp guards, and to reach the Kaunas ghetto. According to a German source (Jaeger report), on September 4, 1941, 241 Jewish men and 8 Jewish women were executed because of rebelling in the labor camp in Pravieniskes. Apparently, the report is referring to the attempted escape noted above. 253 men were shot to death about 500 meters from the campís administrative building, and 27 women were shot to death in a place in the forest. During the 1980ís, local councils erected stone memorials in those two places. One of them is inscribed in Hebrew and in Lithuanian: “In this place, in 1941, Hitlerite murderers and their local collaborators, annihilated Jews from Western Europe”.


Yad Vashem Archives, M-1/Q-1107/1001; 0-53/4.
Garfunkel, L., Jewish Kovna in its Destruction, Jerusalem, 1958, pp. 30, 46, 49.

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