Preserving Our Litvak Heritage
(Volume II)

by Josef Rosin z”l

Preserving Our Litvak Heritage- Volume II

Published by the JewishGen Press

332 pages with Illustrations. Hard Cover

Available from for $32.00


Josef Rosin's Preserving Our Litvak Heritage Volume II is a monumental work documenting the history of 21 Jewish communities in Lithuanaia from their inception to their total destruction in 1941 at the hands of the Nazis and their Lithuania helpers. Rosin gathered his material from traditional sources, archives, public records, and remembrance books. He has enriched and enhanced the entry for each community with personal memoirs and contributions from widely dispersed survivors who opened family albums and shared treasured photographs of family and friends. He made use of sources originally written in Hebrew, Yiddish, Lithuanian, German and Russian. In over 300 pages, Rosin documents each community from its beginning until World War I, through the years of Independent Lithuania (1918-1940), and finally during the indescribable Nazi annihilation of nearly all of Lithuanian Jewry. Most impressive is the record of cultural richness, the important town personalities, the welfare institutions, the glorious Hebrew educational system of the Tarbuth elementary schools and the Yavneh high schools, the world famous Telz and Ponevezh Yeshivoth (in the towns of Telsiai and Panevezys), the Yiddish press and other significant events of the period. Rosin has provided a documentary and a testament to once vibrant communities almost totally destroyed but which come alive again in the pages of this book.


About the author:

Josef Rosin, born in Kibart Lithuania is a 1939 graduate of the Hebrew High School in Mariampol. During the Nazi rule in Lithuania he was imprisoned for two and a half years in the Kovno ghetto until he escaped in February 1944 to fight as a partisan against the German and Lithuanian Nazis in the woods of eastern Lithuania and Belarus. After the liberation by the Red Army he returned to Kovno where he was employed until March 1945; at that time he joined a group of Jewish young adults whose goal it was to go to Eretz-Yisrael. In August 1944 he left Lithuania and in October of the same year he arrived in his new homeland as an illegal immigrant together with his bride, Peninah.

In 1950 he earned a Civil Engineering degree and eight years later an M.S. in Agricultural Engineering from the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa. In 1987 he retired after 37 years in the firm “Water Planning for Israel” (TAHAL) where for more than twenty years he was head of the Drainage and Development Department.

After his retirement he devoted himself to immortalizing the Jewish communities of Lithuania totally destroyed by the Nazis and their local helpers. First, he wrote in Hebrew about his hometown The Remembrance Book of Kibart, and later translated it into English. It appears in this book.

For over six years he worked as assistant editor contributing nearly 80% of the entries in the Pinkas HaKehiloth-Lita (Encyclopedia of the Jewish Communities in Lithuania) edited by professor Dov Levin from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and published in 1996 by Yad Vashem.

Josef Rosin's current book contains the expanded history of 21 Jewish communities in Lithuania:

Lithuanian Name Yiddish Name
Alsėdžiai Alsiad
Antalieptė Antalept
Balbieriškis Balbirishok
Darbėnai Dorbyan
Gruzdžiai Gruzd
Kelmė Kelem
Kavarskas Kovarsk
Mažeikiai Mazheik
Pajūris Payure
Plungė Plungyan
Raguva Rogeve
Salakas Salok
Saločiai Salat
Širvintos Shirvint
Šaukėnai Shukyan
Užpaliai Ushpol
Vyžuonos Vizhun
Varniai Vorne
Zarasai Ezheremi
Žagarė Zhager
Žiežmariai Zhezhmer

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