- N. Schoenburg & S. Schoenburg. Lithuanian Jewish Communities.
VISHTINITZ (VISTYTIS) - Vilkovishk District
Vishtinitz is near Kibart (12 miles), Kalvaria (22) and Virbaln (13),
on the border of East Prussia. The nearest rail station was in
The town is situated between forested hills and a large lake. During
Czarist rule, revolutionary literature was smuggled by way of the lake
At the beginning of the century, the town was almost entirely
destroyed by fire. Kaiser Wilhelm II visited on Yom Kippur, and when
he saw the destruction, he gave the community a donation of 10,000
Marks. When this was announced publicly, Czar Nicholas II gave 5000
Rubles. Before World War I, the town was rebuilt.
In 1915, the town was destroyed by the retreating Russians. The only
building that remained intact was the synagogue. The Jews fled. Some
returned after the War.
In 1921, there were only 40 Jewish families (about 250 people). They
worked in small-scale trade, crafts, fishing and processing bristles
and poultry. During Independent Lithuania, the economy declined and
the town deteriorated. Many of the residents emigrated to America. At
the outbreak of the Holocaust, about 30 Jewish families lived there.
FROM THE RABBINATE: R. Yakov bar Haim Hacohen [author of "Zerah Yakov,
" a commentary on the Psalms, 1788); R. Moshe bar Aaron [died in
5635/18751; R. Haim Vaserzog; R. Haim bar Shimshon [died in 5635/1875]
; R. Elhanan-Zvi Lapp [died in 5645/1885]; R. Yitzhak-Elhanan
Niderland [died in 5646/1886]; R. Avraham-Yehuda bar Haim-Eliahu
Poltinov*; and the last rabbi, R. Zalman Sodelnitzky*
NATIVES: Efraim-Dov Lapp; Dr. Mendel Sodersky [physician and public