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45RE: [JewishKeidan] Keidan ghetto

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  • A. Cassel
    Jul 7, 2005
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      Dear Lynn,
      Thanks so much for your complimentary note. I'm delighted the website is proving useful in your research.
      The short answer to your question regarding Keidan in the Shoah, is that there wasn't a Keidan ghetto -- at least not one that existed for very long. The mass murder of Keidan's Jews took place late in August, 1941, only a few weeks after the Nazis entered Lithuania. There is an account of the community's destruction on the website, written by the Keidan-born-and-raised poet and essayist Dovid Wolpe (who I believe still lives in Johannesburg, now well into his 90s.) Another appears in the Keidan Yizkor Book, which was published in 1977 by the Keidaner association in Israel. I have a translation and would be happy to share it with you. Both accounts, along with a third that appears in a book by Ephraim Oshry, rely on the testimony of Chaim Ronder, one of a handful of survivors to witness the slaughter.
      If you are really interested in researching the history of Keidan, you might want to know that a "pinkas" for the community survives at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. This is a record book kept by the Chevra Kadisha, or burial society, from the 1600s through about 1925. I was sent a xerox copy once, and we considered starting a project to translate it. But the book is so long, the handwriting is so difficult, and the quality of the copy so uneven, that I can't see how anyone who isn't a very dedicated scholar could even attempt it, and even then it would certainly take many years.
      I do have a number of documents that aren't on the website, and I'd be happy to share these if you're interested. Please feel free to send along any questions.
      All the best,
      Andy Cassel
      -----Original Message-----
      From: JewishKeidan@yahoogroups.com [mailto:JewishKeidan@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of lynn lubamersky
      Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 10:11 AM
      To: JewishKeidan@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [JewishKeidan] Keidan ghetto

      Dear Jewish Keidan group,
      I am seeking information on the Keidan ghetto during
      the Shoah.  I have seen it mentioned in the Yizkor
      book and also in an encyclopedia entry.  If there are
      survivor accounts that mention the ghetto, I would be
      interested in reading them.  Of course, if there are
      any survivors who are members of the list, I would be
      interested in hearing from you on or off list.

      I am beginning a research project on the history of
      Keidan from its founding until the present day.  The
      "Hole in the Heart" website is a great tribute to the
      world that was lost.  My compliments to Andrew Cassel.
      Lynn Lubamersky
      Associate Professor of History
      Boise State University, Boise ID 83725 USA

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