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PLATELIAI: (Samogitia) Telsiai County, Plunge Distrist PDF Print E-mail

Alternate names: Plateliai [Lith], Plotel [Yid], Ploteli [Rus], Płotele [Pol], Platelyay, Platelyai, Platelių, Russian: Плотели, Samogitian: Platelē . 56°03' N, 21°49' E, 9 miles N of Plungė (Plungian), 17 miles WNW of Telšiai (Telz). 1900 Jewish population: 171.

  • Encyclopedia of Jewish Life (2001), p. 999: "Plateliai".
  • Pinkas HaKehilot, Lithuania (1996), p. 484: "Plateliai"
  • LitvakSIG

Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), VIII, p. 321: "Płotele".

According to the data of 1897 population census, there were 171 Jews residing in Plateliai (28% of the town population). Some Jews of the town emigrated to the USA and South Africa in the interwar period. Plateliai had a synagogue, but the local Jews had no other institutions (e.g., schools, charitable or political organizations, etc.). [March 2009]

Plateliai is a town on the west bank of Lake Plateliai with a population of about 1,100 people is the center of an elderate in Plungė district municipality and the administrative center of the Žemaitija National Park. The town is popular resort in Samogitia and attracts many tourists.  [September 2010]

MASS GRAVE: at the foot of Bokštakalnis hill, 0.5 km from Plateliai township.

18 Jewish families lived in Plateliai (about 90 persons out of about 500 persons, mostly Lithuanians on the eve of WWII. On the first day of the war, a "partisan" company organized and functioned for about two months. In July, four "partisan" companies with about 200 men operated in Plateliai Rural District: Plateliai, Gintališkes, Šateikiai and Notenai. The headquarters of Plateliai partisan company were located in the district municipality building. The members of the company wore white bands on their left hands and were armed with Russian guns. From the first days of the Nazi occupation, Plateliai "partisan" (white-band) squad started persecuting communists that remained in the town. Those arrested by white-bands were handed over to the German Gestapo. From June 23 to July 20, tens of communists were arrested; and some were shot. Jewish men from Plateliai (about 35) were arrested in either June or July and confined in the synagogue to do hard physical work and often were beaten. Jewish women and children were distributed to farmers in neighboring villages and did various work. The Jews kept in the synagogue were guarded by the local white-bands. The shooting of the Jews from Plateliai was postponed several times. Instructions from the police in Kretinga to shoot physically strong and sound Jewish men meant 8 or 9 men were taken from the synagogue for the first time at the beginning of July and executed in Laumalenkai forest (about 4 km from Plateliai by the white-bands from Kretinga. In mid-July, the second massacre of 15-20 Jewish men took place in the hills outside the town (about 0.5 km from Plateliai) and carried out by Germans. Pranas Jakys, who was Chief of the Lithuanian Security Police in Kretinga Region and notorious for his cruelty ordered the identifying communists to arrest them and to maintain public order in the Rural District. Four policemen and the local "partisan" company started working in Plateliai. Jewish men were already executed, but about 70 Jewish women, children and elderly were left in the town, kept in Plateliai synagogue and guarded by local white-bands. Around the end of August, orders came to carry out killings by the lake, a couple of kilometers away from the town. By order of the police, residents of Plateliai dug a trench in Laumalenkai forest. Jewish women with children were taken from the synagogue to the massacre site, undressed, lined by the trench, and shot from a distance of several meters. Small children were not taken to the trench. They were shot to the heads and thrown to the trench by a Plateliai white-band squad. The killers shared a part of the clothes of the 70 Jews shot. Any valuable property of Jews left in houses and apartments was delivered to the warehouse so that residents could not steal it. Following the shooting of Jewish women, a special commission was set up to distribute Jewish property among members of the white-band company. In September, the police chief in Kretinga District disbanded and disarmed the "partisan" squad and made them the police of Plateliai Rural District.  [March 2009]

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 September 2010 23:55
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