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SKUODAS (Dimitravas Camp), Klaipeda County [Shkudy, Szkudy, Schoden , Shkud, Skuodo, Skudoas, Skouds] PDF Print E-mail

Alternate names: Skuodas [Lith], Shkod, שקוד [Yid], Shkudy, Шкуды, Скуодас [Rus], Szkudy [Pol], Schoden [Ger], Skoda [Latv], Shkud, Skuodo, Skudoas, Skouds. At 56°16' N, 21°32' E in NW Lithuania, on the Latvian border, 41 miles NNE of Klaipėda (Memel), 34 miles NW of Telšiai (Telz), 29 miles NNE of Kretinga.

KehillaLink [June 2014]

Town history with photos. History. [October 2010]

Skuodas is a city in the Klaipeda County, NW Lithuania, on the border with Latvia. Bartuva flows through the town. Settlement of Jews in Skuodas began at the end of the 17th century. 1897 census: 2,292 Jews. 1939 census: 2,500 Jews (about 50% of total). Most Jews were engaged in crafts and trade, while others were workers in industrial enterprises transport, or engaged in agriculture. Local Jews were engaged in active trade with Kuršas (Liepoja). Having annexed Klaipeda region to Lithuania, Skuodas experienced rapid growth in industry and trade. Skuodas had several synagogues, a beit midrash, an old cemetery, 2 cheders, Hebrew and Yiddish schools, a Jewish library, Jewish organizations, an orchestra, and a drama club. Some young Jews immigrated to Palestine in the inter-war period. [March 2009]


"The German Army occupied Skuodas on the first day of WWII (June 22, 1941). During the first days of Nazi occupation, a Lithuanian "partisan" company of scores of men formed to arrest communists and Red Army soldiers (an auxiliary police squad). The first shootings of Jews in Skuodas began at the end of June. The men often were taken to clean the streets from ruins of a lot of buildings in Skuodas that were either destroyed or burnt during military actions. The arrested Jewish men were taken in groups from theRiflemen Union hall and shot at the edge of the town with communists and Russian prisoners of war. Jewish women and children were kept in the synagogue on Kudirkos Street. Around July 10, about twenty Jewish men were brought to the Jewish cemetery and executed in pits created by aviation bombs. Several days later, the Skuodas  auxiliary police with German soldiers shot 30-35 Jewish men in the gravel-pit near Kulai village, about 2 km of Skuodas. Soon after, about thirty Jewish men were driven from Skuodas to the same place near Kulai Village and shot by the same auxiliary police with several Germans participating. After that shootings, about twenty Jewish men confined in the house of the Riflemen Union and about 500 Jewish women and children in the synagogue remained in Skuodas. At the end of July, the Jewish women and children were walked to Dimitravas Camp (41 km from Skuodas), managed by about 20 auxiliary police from Skuodas. During the two day trip, the women and children spent the night outside near Darbenai. Those women who could not walk further were shot by the guards, who ordered peasants in surrounding villages to bury the bodies. When they arrived in Dimitravas, some policemen returned to Skuodas by bike, while the others remained to guard. The Jewish women with children were in two empty barracks. About August 3, Edmundas Tyras was appointed temporary chief of Dimitravas Camp, charged with camp administration and guards. Maj. Julius Šurna was appointed chief of Dimitravas Camp on October 1. On August 15, some Skuodas auxiliary policemen arrived in the evening and told the girls to remain behind while women with children went to the yard. Several huge pits dug at the foot of Alka Hil in Jazdai forest, 1.5 km from the Camp was where the women with children were taken in large groups, undressed, pushed into the pits, and shot by about twenty from the Skuodas squad and four local volunteers from surrounding villages. After the shootings, the pits were filled by the killers and peasants from surrounding villages. A lot of children were just thrown into the pit and buried alive. After the shootings , the auxiliary policemen returned to Skuodas. The participants of the shootings shared the clothes of the victims. Four mass graves contain 510 bodies of murdered persons (31 children, 94 teenagers, and 385 women). No gunshot wounds were found in the bodies of the children. The twenty Jewish men remaining in Skuodas were shot at the same night as the women and children from Dimitravas. In September 1941, about 40 Jewish girls still in Dimitravas were taken by the Camp guards to Darbenai, placed in the synagogue, and killed. Later, Dimitravas Camp was used for political prisoners only. In Autumn 1941, Jews of Kretinga Rural District were exterminated; the rough number of Jews from Kretinga District killed: 3,900-4,000 Jews. 4,016 Jews lived in Kretinga District before WWII." see Skuodas and Dimitravas Camp. see Memorial.  [March 2009]



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