Re: Questions about Possible Lithuanian Descent #lithuania


Bill Yoffee wrote: This is in response to Wendy Hoechstetter's question
In the Digest of 13 September about whether the nationality of her
ancestors >from Suwalki in the middle of the 18th Century, and later,
justifies saying that she is of Lithuanian descent. In a word, "No"

The answer isn't so simple because the original question was
different. The question was, am I a Polish Jew or a Russian Jew or a
Lithuanian Jew. The simple answer could be based on which king or
emperor ruled the territory when the ancestor lived there. But usually
when we ask the question it is in a cultural/ethnic context.

The village of Przesosl is just a few miles >from the current Lithuanian
border. In the 18th and 19th centuries its residents most likely spoke
Yiddish with a Litvak accent, followed Jewish Litvak customs, cooked
their food Litvak style, and considered Vilna the "Jerusalem of the North".
In that sense they were definitely Litvaks (Yiddish) or Lithuanians
(English).This most likely does not mean that a descendant of such a
family has any recognized claim to citizenship in modern day Lithuania.

Shana Tova,
Elan Caspi
El Cerrito, CA

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