This Newsletter contains an overview of activities of Litvak Cemetery Catalogue MACEVA in 2016.
Švenčionys (Svintsyán). It is believed that this cemetery was established during the 15th century. This is one of the oldest and largest cemeteries of Lithuanian Jewry, encompassing an area of 39670.00m2. We had expected to find approximately 2000 graves. Our work with students has found closer to 3,000 surviving graves. Approximately 1200 tombstones still have full, or partially legible inscriptions.
Prior to World War II, the cemetery was larger, it was devastated during the war and beginning in 1941, locals began to plunder stone monuments for construction material. Many tombstones were damaged and uprooted, black marble tombstones were considered particularly desirable.
The current condition of the cemetery is mediocre.
Many of the gravestones are fully, or partially buried, giving us limited ability to access the inscriptions. Many gravestones are leaning or have already collapsed.
The city of Svencionys has no directional signs indicating the location of the cemetery. …
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