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Lazdijai synagogue and beit midrange

Jewish heritage

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19th century In the town of Lazdijai, a synagogue was erected one after the other, and next to it, a beith meadow, which together with the rabbi's house and the Jewish school formed a schulhof. This showhouse in the very center of Lazdijai, at the confluence of Vilnius Street and the Old Town Alley, was the most visited place in the community - people gathered here not only to pray, but also to communicate, discuss news or business.

The history of Jews in Lazdijai began in the 16th century. At the end of the 19th century, however, we can only talk about Lazdijus as a shtetl with a full community of Jewish infrastructure. average, when Jews in the town accounted for 60 percent. of the entire population. The Jewish neighborhood was located around the market square, usually living in the same house and engaged in trade or crafts. We can observe that in the 20th century. pr. The range of activities of Lazdijai Jews was very wide - in the interwar period Lazdijai Jews flourished not only as traders and craftsmen, but also as industrialists - Jews owned 16 of the 17 local factories in Lazdijai, and the number of Jewish families engaged in agriculture was constantly increasing. However, not only the bread but also the spiritual fodder was taken care of by the local Jewish community. During the interwar period, the exclusive cultural institutions of the Jewish community became the exclusive Lazdijai Jewish Library with a collection of more than 2,000 publications in Hebrew and Yiddish, and the string orchestra HaKoakh, which was an integral part of various celebrations. Although there was no separate Jewish theater in the town, the interest in the theater was very strong - Yiddish theater often came to Lazdijai from Kaunas during the interwar period, and the halls were constantly crowded. 1941 In the summer of 1945, this line of life in the Jewish community of Lazdijai was interrupted by the Nazi occupation, during which local Jews were massacred, and the survivors were left alone, and they did not return to live in Lazdijai after the war.

Today, the former brick synagogue and basement buildings stand on Vilniaus st. 6. Both buildings were badly damaged during the bombing of the town at the end of World War II, but in 1946. In the plan of Lazdijai they are still marked. XX a. 6 dec. the remains of both buildings were completely reconstructed and merged into a single building that served as a house of culture and a public library during the Soviet era. 1994 the youth club, later renamed the Lazdijai Cultural Center, continued to operate officially in this place.

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