Paul Smith <pkwsmith@...>
Life was tough for everyone in Lithuania in the 19th century. Napoleon's
forces marched in, fought the Russians and was driven back (1811-ish). The
Russians siezed Poland and the Poles revolted in 1830 - the retreating
Russians burned crops, barns, shops, etc. Then in the mid 1840s came the
potato pest that starved Ireland and forced 1 Amillion Swedes to head
for America. The same famine affected Lithuania. Then the Poles revolted
again - more crops and property burned by retreating Russians in 1863.
So life was tough and the depressed Lithuanian Catholics were told that
Jews had somehow contributed, and were encouraged to join in the Pogroms.
In Siauliai (my focus of research) the Jewish population in the early
20th century was less than half what it had been in 1850. Large numbers
had gone, mostly to America and South Africa.
Paul Kirkel Smith
Researching KIRKIL/KIRKEL in Lithuania, Latvia & South Africa