“Perloja” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania

54° 13' / 24° 25'

Translation of the “Perloja” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Lita

Written by Josef Rosin

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 502)


Written by Dov Levin

Translated by Shaul Yannai

In Yiddish, Perloy

A small town on the right bank of the Merkys River in the Alytus district in southern Lithuania, 10 km southeast of Varena. Perloja is mentioned in historical documents dating from the 15th century. In 1792, it received the Magdeburg Rights. The town's population grew very much during the 19th century: from 18 families in 1839 to 1,396 in 1897. A few dozen Jewish families lived in Perloja until WWI and they had a big and magnificent synagogue. Jews left the town during the war. Only 6 Jewish families came back to Perloja during the period of Independent Lithuania. They made their living mostly from fishing and agriculture. In 1931, Jews owned a wool carder factory in the town.

The synagogue stood empty and deserted because the town's Jews were unable to maintain it. The small children studied with a local Melamd (teacher) and the older children studied in nearby towns. Perloja is mentioned in the 1938 list of Jewish artisans of Lithuania.

If any Jews remained in Perloja when Germany occupied Lithuania, then their fate was the same as the fate of their Jewish brethren in the surrounding areas: all of them were murdered by armed Lithuanians during the autumn of 1941.

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