Thank you Ken, for the nice words, and to you Susan, for the
endorsement that Shat and Zheim should be mentioned on the plaque as
well as Kedain.
I'd like to correct another "goof" that I made. The Hebrew yarzheit
date for all 3 of these communities on 28 August 1941 was 5 Elul, not
2 Elul as I stated previously. Just want to make sure that the right
Hebrew date goes on the plaque.
There are apparently two Holocaust mass gravesites in Kedain.
According to the website http://www.culture-
is located in Dauksias village (an area of the former military
airport). Since "airport" is the keyword here, this is undoubtedly
the mass gravesite to which we have been referring. But there is
another one in the Babenai suburb on Jubiliejaus Street, which I am
not familiar with and which I would assume is a much smaller site.
Perhaps this is the place that Ben-Tsion Klibansky and his son came
across in 2005.
Regarding the more familiar Kedain mass gravesite that is near the
airport, although I have never seen a river near there on the 3
occasions that I have visited it, other websites say that it is
located on the bank of the River Smilga.
I visited the Kedain mass gravesite in 1996, 1997 and 2000, but have
not been there since. Pictures taken during my visits can be seen at
at http://home.att.net/~shat/pages/massgrave.htm . As you can see,
the site was well maintained at least up through 2000. Kedain Jewish
native Judel Ronder (who lived in Kaunas and is one of the. pictures)
saw to it that the grass was cut, etc. I don't know if Mr. Ronder is
still living, but I sure hope he is.
As you can also see, there is a monument there with 2 memorial
plaques, one in Lithuanian and the other in Hebrew. They give the
official Yager Report figure of 2,076 Jews. Although this figure is
undoubtedly incorrect, I would hesitate against placing yet a third
memorial plaque on this site for 3 reasons:
a. there already are 2 plaques there
b. only those visiting this out-of-the-way site (meaning mostly Jews)
would ever see it
c. if the Smilga River is anything like Seta and Kedain's Obelis
River, it might be prone to occasional flooding, with the potential
to make the site temporarily inaccessible at best and subject to
damage, at worst
We already ready know what occurred on 28 August 1941. The plaque
should be placed in a more central location in Kedain so that current
and future generations of Kedain locals and visitors will know too,
or as Susan Goldsmith so aptly worded it, "The plaque will be a
memorial and also serve an educational purpose."
> Because Kedainiai is quite an architecturally distinguished
> town, it appeals to many visitors from elsewhere in Lithuania
> and other countries.
That is correct as is evidenced by the fact that Kedain was one of
the very few towns in Lithuania that sold tourist postcards of
itself -- at least at the time that I was there. There certainly
were no postcards from nearby smaller shtetls like Ariogala, Babtai,
Josvainiai, Krakes, Seta, Vandziogala, etc.
Susan also wrote:
> We are likely to find Kedainiai responsive to this idea
> as there is already a small museum in town with a section
> devoted to Jewish life. The museum curator was quite
> accommodating when we visited in 2007 on a day the museum was
> closed. We knocked on the door and she kindly opened the museum
> for us. She might be a good person to contact and she could then
> advise on approaching the mayor.
The museum is called the Kedainiai Regional Museum and the Jewish
section is in the Multicultural Centre housed in the building on the
main square that was formerly the small synagogue. The head of the
Multicultural Centre is Androne Peciulyte. I have not been to the
museum because it didn't exist back in 2000 when the Kedain synagogue
was still boarded-up with wood, but I got the information from the
Multicultural Centre's webpage at
> Incidentally, I apologize to any of you who might think that
> this project is "off the subject" for the purpose of this list.
> I understand that some might consider that this goes outside
> the scope of genealogy, strictly speaking.
To that I fully agree with Harvey's words,
> I don't think this is 'off subject', as if we are concerned
> about our ancestors and where they lived, we are presumably
> concerned also about preseving that memory.
Any subject concerning Kedain should be considered "fair game" for
this Kedain forum, as long as it is respectful of one another's
opinions and doesn't "flame" or insult anyone. After all, we are not
bound, straight-jacketed and strangled into the narrow restrictions,
rules, and regulations imposed on us by this site's original host
server. And to that I can. only say Amen.