Re: Jewish cemeteries #lithuania

David Shapiro

Michelle Sandler wrote:
Are there Jewish cemeteries in these towns and what are the
conditions of these cemeteries?
I have been to the sites of the three Vilna cemeteries. The oldest, the
Shnipeshuk cemetery, was destroyed by the communists in order to build
a sports center. All that remains there is a monument in several
languages commemorating the former cemetery. (The grave of the Vilna
Gaon and others that were buried in his "ohel" were transferred to the
new cemetery).

In the St. Petersburg library there is a manuscript with a map of this
cemetery showing the location of all the graves, and a microfilm copy is
available in the National Library in Jerusalem.

The second cemetery was also destroyed to build a non-sectarian funeral
building. There are still some graves on hills around the building.
There is also a monument built >from tombstones, many of which I
understand had been used in building.

The third, newest cemetery is still in use. It is here that the grave of
the Vilna Gaon is now found. Also, the grave of well known Rabbi Itzela
of Panevezys was transferred to this cemetery when the cemetery of
Panevezys was turned into a park. As far as I understand that is all
that was salvaged >from the Panevezys cemetery (although I wasn't there

David Shapiro

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