Adutiskis Jewish Cemetery
Adutiskis (Haydutzishok in Yiddish) is a small town in eastern Lithuania 15 miles west of the district capital Svencionys.
Jews first settled in Adutiskis in the 19th century. In 1847 there were 579 Jews in the village. According to the census in the Russian Empire of 1897, the Jewish population grew to 1373 people that made up 61% of the total population, and before the Holocaust, there were around 100 Jewish families in the settlement.
The Jews of Adutiskis made their living from small trades, crafting, and various services. There were: shoemakers, tailors, butchers, bakers, carpenters, blacksmiths, tinsmiths, glaziers, painters, coachmen, and others in the town, as well as a few flax merchants.
The majority of the Jews belonged to the Chabad community, but there were also some followers of misnagdim in Adutiskis. There were four Jewish prayer houses: a Synagogue and three Beit Midrash. There was a high cultural standard amongst the young folk of the town. There was a wonderful library, a horn–orchestra, a drama club, 2 public schools, Yiddish and Hebrew, and several Zionist organizations.
The fate of Adutiskis Jews was the same as of all the Jews of Svencionys area. They were forced to move to the “Polygon”, former Soviet military barracks. On October 8, 1941, all the Jews from the barracks were taken in smaller groups and shot in the pit that had been dug outside. It is assumed that around 8000 Jews were executed in “Polygon”.
The Jewish cemetery was established in the first half of the 19th century. About 300 gravestones or their fragments remain in the cemetery. The cemetery was still in use until the destruction of the Jewish community during the Holocaust. In 1994 the cemetery was registered into the Cultural Property Register of the Republic of Lithuania. At the entrance, there is a memorial stone with an inscription in Yiddish and Lithuanian: “The old Jewish cemetery. May their memory be eternal”. Next to it another plaque saying that the cemetery was restored in 1999 by Abraham Yochelman and the residents of the town.