“Raudondvaris” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania

56° 09' / 23° 02'

Translation of the “Raudondvaris” 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 624)


In Yiddish, Roiter Hoif (Red Estate)

Written by Dov Levin

Translated by Shimon Joffe

A county town in the Kaunas district, 9 km from Kaunas city. It lies on a hill near the confluence of the Nevezys and the Neman rivers and on the Kaunas-Yurbarkas highway. From the middle of the 19th century connection with Kaunas was, (except for the winter months), by steamer boats on the Neman river. During the summer months the town served as a vacation place for Kaunas residents.

Raudondvaris had its beginnings in an estate and castle belonging to aristocratic families, the Radziwill, Tishkevich and others. Until the First World war 25 Jews lived there. According to a census conducted by the independent Lithuanian authorities in 1923, it had 382 inhabitants including 55 Jews, (23 men and 32 women). A year later a number of Jewish families were added from the neighboring village Salomenka which was formally joined onto Raudondvaris. The Jews lived off trade and farming. They owned a few workshops, a saw mill and a flour mill. The inn owner (Shimon Kveskin) served also as the local postmaster. The doctor and the pharmacists were Jewish too. In 1939, the town had 25 telephones, four of these in Jewish hands. The Slobodka rabbi served this community as well. A Shokhet (ritual slaughterer) visited the town twice a week. During the High Holy Days and Festivals, Jews from the vicinity came to the town to fill a Minyan for prayers in private houses. The children attended schools in Kaunas.

When the Soviet Union annexed Lithuania in the autumn of 1940, there were still a few Jewish families in the town. After the German invasion of Lithuania in June 1941, the town Jews shared the fate of their compatriots of the vicinity; all were murdered in the autumn of that year.

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