(Lithuania) Discovery of 18th Century Memorial Plaque Found Below Synagogue of Vilnius #lithuania

Jan Meisels Allen

On July 18, Jewish Community leaders announced the discovery of an
18th-century memorial plaque bearing Hebrew inscriptions that detail trips
made by Jewish residents of Vilnius to the Holy Land. The found plaque was
discovered in a cellar below the most revered part of the Great Synagogue of
Vilnius, which was the major synagogue in Vilnius before it was destroyed by
the Nazis in WW ll. The synagogue dated >from the 1630s. Part of inscription
talks of an excursion dating >from 1776.

Last year, archaeologists announced they had discovered the synagogue's
bimah, the synagogue podium >from which the Torah is read. The newly
discovered plaque was found in a cellar beneath the bimah.

Prior to World War II the Jewish community accounted for one-third of the
city's residents, about 60,000 Jews. Most were perished under the Nazis.
Today Lithuania's Jewish population amounts to about 3,000 people out of
a total population of 2.9 million residents.

The Nazis burned down the shrine and the remains were later demolished by
the Soviet regime that built a kindergarten, later turned into the primary
school, on the property.

To read the article see:

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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