The Nelson Mandela Auditorium at the Gardens Shul, Cape Town
Chaim Bargman has been a beloved guide and genealogist for international Jewish-interest tourists in the Kaunas (Kovno) area for decades, and was immortalized in the late Dan Jacobson’s Heshel’s Kingdom (1998).
With a previous speaker, Dr Samuel Kassow in Seattle WA
With Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Program Director of Polin, Warsaw
Chaim Bargman travelled with me to several places west of Kaunas, halfway to Klaipeda.
He is very knowledgeable, has many haimisher stories and sad ones too, of course.
He is extremely outgoing and will chat to anybody of any age, and they are charmed by him!
The view of Kaunas from the hill on the other side of the Neman river.
Jewish cemeteries of Kaunas
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aleksotas Jewish cemetery
The Jewish cemeteries of Kaunas are the four Jewish cemeteries of the LithuanianJews living in Kaunas, known to them as Kovne, Lithuania. Jewish people started settling in Kaunas in the second half of the 17th century. They were not allowed to live in the city, so most of them stayed in the Vilijampolė settlement on the opposite than Kaunas Castle right bank of theNeris River, near the its confluence with the Nemunas River. Since the second half of the 19th century, Kaunas became a major center of Jewish cultural and economic activity in Lithuania.
The second and the largest Jewish cemetery is situated in the residential Žaliakalnis elderate, near the Ąžuolynas park. Among others, the Rabbi of Kovno and the head of Kovno KollelYitzchak Elchanan Spektor was buried in the Jewish cemetery of Žaliakalnis. The cemetery is left neglected at the moment.
The third cemetery is located in the Panemunė elderate on the left bank of the Nemunas River. Only 3 gravestones are visible in the Jewish cemetery of Panemunė.
Babtai is a small town 24 km (15 mi) north of Kaunas, in Kaunas County, in central Lithuania. It is situated on the left bank of the Nevėžis River. As of 2001 it had a population of 1,715. Situated on the historic road from Kaunas to Riga, it played a role in the trade between Lithuania and Livonia. In 1792, the town received Magdeburg rights and coat of arms. The town declined after construction of railways.
We visit the Babtai Holocaust Memorial which is well hidden away, out of town.
It takes a great sense of direction to find the beacon and quite a challenge to get there, but we made it!
Righteous Among the Nations (Hebrew: חסידי אומות העולם, khassidey umot ha-olam “righteous (plural) of the world’s nations”) is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.
Video – together with the barking dog!
I drove on to Klaipeda, once known as Memel, Lithuania’s port. Chaim returned to Kaunas by getting a ride with someone yet to be decided!
Memel is the name for both a town and a river (the same river in the neighboring country has the name Nemunas/Neman River and Njemen in Belarus). Memel was derived from the Couronian–Latvian language: memelis, mimelis, mēms and means mute, silent. It may refer to:
Memel, a city in East Prussia, Germany, now Klaipėda, part of Lithuania
Memelburg, the Ordensburg in Memel, a castle built in 1252 by Teutonic Knights which was the nucleus for the city
Memel Territory (Memelland), the area separated from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, later called Klaipėda Region