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LINKUVA: Pakruojis district, Šiauliai County PDF Print E-mail

File:Linkuva COA.gif Alternate names: Linkuva [Lith], Linkeve [Yid], Linkovo [Rus], Linków [Pol], Linkuvos, לינקעװע-Yiddish. Russian: Линково. 56°05' N, 23°59' E, 28 miles NNW of Panevėžys (Ponevezh), 28 miles ENE of Šiauliai (Shavl), 9 miles NE of Pakruojis (Pokroi). 1900 Jewish population: 1,213. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), V, p. 241: "Linków". Linkuva lies close to the Musa River near Pakroujis, Joniskelis, Pauitinys, Vaskaikm), Zeimilis, and Pasvalys. The Jewish settlement of Pamosa was about 5 km away. Dating from the 16th century, until World War I no paved road or railway line existed. In 1915, the Germans laid a narrow railway line close to the town. The area started to develop. In 1924, the town became famous because of a blood-libel. 300 families, mainly involved in the flax industry, crafts, and cultivation of small leased land had market days were on Mondays and Fridays. An annual fair lasted for eight days from July 15-23. A large flour mill was owned and operated by Jews. A Jewish National Bank of Lithuania branch had 167 depositors. In 1883, a serious fire raged through the town, burning the wooden synogogue to the ground. One Beit HaMidrash and a Kloiz remained in use. By 1923, only 625 Jews resided in the town. [March 2009]

CEMETERY: Large unmaintained cemetery outside of town containing about 1000 stones, mostly in poor condition. [Source?] [October 2000]

MASS GRAVE: On the second day of the German invasion and the withdrawal of the Soviet Forces, the Jews of Linkuva attempted to flee eastward. The Lithuanian activists were ready to murder Jews. They ambushed fleeing Jews. The first murdered and last buried in the cemetery were Leizer Schlossberg and his 19 year-old son, Abraham. On Tuesday, as the Red Army retreated through the town, Jews fleeing eastwards from Siauliai and its surroundings, arrived in Linkuva. Jews from Pasvitinys also fled through the town; and many remained. Many Jews took refuge in the Jewish village of Pamosa. By the time the Germans entered the town, in excess of 1,000 Jews remained in Linkuva. On June 29, the Germans ordered the Lithuanian activists to round up the Jews and put them in the police station, but they were locked up in the stable of Itzhak Kapuler and the storerooms of Aba Kahn, Saul Giresh, and Leib Bar and tortured. The beards of respected Jews of the town were cut off. For many hot days of early July, the Jews were left without food or water. On June 30 (5 Tamuz), ten young Jews aged 18 to 20 were selected by the Lithuanians, who later boasted how they had taken the Jews to a sandpit not far from the Catholic cemetery and killed them there. Only one managed to escape. FHe wandered for six but in the end he was caught and murdered by his classmates of the Lithuanian High School of Linkuva. The day after the ten young men were taken by the Lithuanian activists, the adult and aged Jews were taken to the Atkotzyunai forest near the Musa River about three km from Linkuva and murdered. On Wednesday, July 2, the LIthuanians gathered 125 persons including men, women, and children from Linkuva and others who had sought refuge in the town, loaded them on four transport trucks, and took them to the jail at Siauliai. The women and children were immediately released and the remaining 57 men imprisoned in one narrow room. A second group taken from Linkuva on the same day were taken by horsedrawn wagons, but never arrived at Siauliai; they were brutally murdered by a wild Lithuanian mob. The women and children, who were released at the jail found no refuge in Siauliai and returned to Linkuva. Many were murdered en route, particularly as they passed through the town of Pakruojis, together with Jews of Pakruojis. The survivors were imprisoned in the cow sheds of the estate of David Davidson. On July 23  (28 Tamuz), the last day of the holy Lithuanian holiday of Haskaipliyrina, they brought all of the remaining Jews, about 700, to the Atkotzyunai forest and opened fire on them until 1 p.m. At the time of the German retreat in 1944, all these murderers, fearing retribution at the hands of the Jews in the Lithuanian division of the Red Army, left together with the Germans. Afterwards they found refuge in the British and American zones of conquered Germany. The fate of the starved and dehydrated 57 men left imprisoned in the narrow cell at Siauliai prison in the hot summer was as follows: 30 of the strongest were taken out day after day to Kuziai forest 15 km from Siauliai to dig long deep ditches to be used as a common grave for the Jews of Siauliai and surrounding areas. The other 27 prisoners were removed and murdered with the Jews of Siauliai and surrounding areas on July 10. The thirty who the trenches were moved to the already prepared Siauliai ghetto together with 150 other Jews, but handled more brutally than the others. As each was recognised by the Lithuanian activists of Linkuva, they were taken out for immediate execution. The remainder were killed the other local Jews in concentration camps in Germany. At the beginning of May 1945, when liberated by the American Armed forces, only four Jews from Linkuva survived.The lists of mass graves in The Popular Massacres of Lithuania, Part II, include the following:

Place - Mount Jorgaitzai, 3 km NE of Linkuva. Date - 3 July, 1941. Number who perished - 32 men and women.

Place - Dovariukai Forest, 4 km NE of Linkuva. Date - 7 August, 1941. Number who perished - 200 men.

Place - Vaslkishka Forest (Atkotzyunai), 5 km SE of Linkuva, close to the village of Vaslkiskiai. Date - 5 August, 1941. Number who perished - 300 women and children. [March 2009]

HOLOCAUST: At the beginning of July, all the Zagare Jews were relocated to one neighbour­hood in Zagare that was declared a ghetto and cordoned off by an unguarded barbed wire fence. Surviving Jews were brought to Zagare from Kursenai, Papile, Tryskiai, Joniskis, Zeimelis, Kriukai, Radviliskis, Saukenai, Kelme, Tirksliai, Krakes, Joniskelis, Linkuva, Pakruojis, Laukuvas, Lygumai and other places. A total of seven thousand Jews were gathered in the ghetto during this period. [March 2009]

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 August 2009 16:04
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