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PASVITINYS: Siauliai. PDF Print E-mail

Alternate names: Pašvitinys [Lith], Poshvityn [Yid, Rus], Pashvitin [Yid], Poszwityń [Pol], Poswitenen [Ger], Pašvitinio, Pašvintinys, Pašvintinio, Pashvitinis, Russian: Пошвитынь. פּאָשוועטין-Yiddish. 56°09' N, 23°49' E, 24 miles NE of Šiauliai (Shavl), 13 miles N of Pakruojis (Pokroi). 1900 Jewish population: 435.

Pasvitinys was a small town 12 km south of the Latvian border and 117.1 miles NNW of Vilnius. The nearest railway station was at Joniskis. 1897 Jewish population: 435 (59%). In 1902, the entire village was burned. Just before World War I, 120 Jewish families lived there, but before the Holocaust only 25 families remained as small merchants in the Wednesday weekly market and as peddlars and craftsmen the biennial fair. The public baths and flour mill were owned by Jews. During Lithuanian Independence, the few remaining Jewish petty merchants survived because of assistance from relations in South Africa while many emigrated to South Africa also. Most who remained were older and persons from surrounding villages. [March 2009]

HOLOCAUST: When the Germans entered the town, the Lithuanian nationals had organized and immediately broke into Jewish homes and terrorizied them. A German officer from Joniskis, who arrived in the town, got drunk with some locals who broke into a Jewish home and molested the grandaughter. When the elderly grandfather tried to protect her, they killed him. They beat others. Almost all Jews tried to join relatives and friends in larger towns. One hired a Lithuanian driver with a wagon to reach Siauliai. Lithuanians pursued, catching them near Siauliai. They forced the family back to Pasvitinys on foot. Soon, all Jews of the town were locked in an ancient horse stable (called The Magazine) beside the flour mill on the road to Zeimelis. Daily, did forced labor on surrounding farms. Some were brutally murdered with some Jews of Linkuva on the road to Siauliai. Finally, the remaining Jews of Pasvitinys were moved on horsedrawn wagons to Zagare where they perished with the Jews of Zagare on the day after Yom Kippur, October 2, 1941. [March 2009]
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 September 2010 15:46
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