Using Online Resources To Find Hidden Holocaust Sites

This post on Kelme’s two mass graves sites illustrates the importance of the website, Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania. Using the coordinates provided together with GPS, data roaming, and online maps such as Google Maps, it is an essential tool for finding well hidden Holocaust memorials.

In addition, on the initiative of the British Jewry & Lord Janner, granite markers were placed at many of the 220 Holocaust mass murder sites in Lithuania. On the side looking towards the site, is information indicating the direction and distance to the site.…

Holo Map




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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Church of Kelmė

Church of Kelmė
Flag of Kelmė
Coat of arms of Kelmė
Coat of arms

Location of Kelmė

Coordinates: 55°38′0″N 22°56′0″ECoordinates55°38′0″N 22°56′0″E
Country  Lithuania
Ethnographic region Samogitia
County Šiauliai County
Municipality Kelmė district municipality
Eldership Kelmė eldership
Capital of Kelmė district municipality
Kelmė eldership
First mentioned 1484
Granted city rights 1947
 • Mayor Vaclovas Andrulis
 • Total 7.85 km2 (3.03 sq mi)
Elevation 128 m (420 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 9,150
 • Density 1,200/km2(3,000/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Website Official website

Kelmė (About this sound pronunciation ) is a city in central Lithuania. It has a population of 9,150 and is the administrative center of the Kelmė district municipality.


Kelmė’s name may come from the Lithuanian “Kelmynės“, literally “the stubby place” because of the forests that were there at the time of its founding.[1]

Kelmė was first mentioned in 1416, the year that Kelmė’s first church was built.[1]

Prior to World War II, Kelmė (YiddishKelm‎) was home to a famous Rabbinical College, the Kelm Talmud Torah.

According to an 1897 census, 2,710 of Kelme’s 3,914 inhabitants were members of the town’s Jewish population, the vast majority of whom were merchants and traders and lived in the town.



Kelm Talmud Torah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Kelm Talmud Torah was a famous yeshiva in pre-holocaust KelmėLithuania. Unlike other yeshivas, the Talmud Torah focused primarily on the study of Musar (“Jewish ethics”) and self-improvement.

Under the Leadership of Simcha Zissel Ziv

The Talmud Torah was founded in the 1860s by Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, known as the Alter of Kelm (the Elder of Kelm), to strengthen the study of Musar in Lithuania.

In 1872, Rabbi Ziv purchased a plot of land and erected a building for the Talmud Torah, which began as a primary school and soon became a secondary school.

In 1876, the Talmud Torah was denounced to the authorities, who began to watch it closely and to hound it. Many traditional Jews in Kelm saw Rabbi Ziv as a “reformer,” as his school supported unconventional prayer practices and an unconventional, musar-focused curriculum.[1]

The curriculum of the original Talmud Torah under Rabbi Ziv’s leadership was fairly unique for a nineteenth-century Lithuanian yeshiva in two respects:

1. Significant time was devoted to Musar, work on the improvement of character traits. In most Lithuanian yeshivas, nearly the entire day was spent studying Talmud. By contrast, at the Talmud Torah, according to Menahem Glenn, “Musar was the chief study, while the study of Talmud was only of minor importance and little time was devoted to it.”[1]

2. In addition to Jewish subjects, students studied general subjects such as geography, mathematics, and Russian language and literature for three hours a day. The Kelm Talmud Torah was the first traditional yeshiva in the Russian empire to give such a focus to general studies.[2]

Under pressure from the Jews of Kelm, Rabbi Ziv decided to open his school elsewhere: he re-established it in Grobin, in the Courland province.

In 1881, Rabbi Ziv returned to Kelm, where the Talmud Torah became an advanced academy for the study of Torah and Musar. Most of the students who came to study at the Talmud Torah were married. Entry to the Talmud Torah was difficult and restricted to select students from other yeshivas, who had to bring letters of recommendation from their Rosh Yeshiva. Students were chosen after they passed rigorous examinations on Musar. At its peak, the Talmud Torah had a student body of between 30 and 35 members.[citation needed]

Rabbi Ziv established a group that was known as “Devek Tov,” comprising his foremost students. He shared a special relationship with the group’s members and he worked on writing out his discourses for them.

The Talmud Torah after Ziv’s death

Simcha Zissel Ziv died in 1898. Upon his death, his brother Rabbi Aryeh Leib Broida became the new director of the Talmud Torah. Aryeh Leib moved to the land of Israel in 1903, and his son Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Broida (also Simcha Zissel Ziv’s son-in-law) became the new director of the Talmud Torah.

After Tzvi Hirsch Broida’s death in 1913, Simcha Zissel’s son Rabbi Nahum Ze’ev Ziv became the new director of the Talmud Torah.

After Nahum Ze’ev Ziv’s death in 1916, Simcha Zissel’s student Rabbi Reuven Dov Dessler became the new director. He was succeeded by Simcha Zissel’s sons-in-law, Rabbi Daniel Movshovitz and Rabbi Gershon Miadnik.

On June 23rd, 1941, Nazi forces entered Kelm. Shortly after, the faculty and students of the Talmud Torah were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators and are buried in a mass grave in the fields of the Grozhebiski farm.

Famous students

The Mashgichim in many of the yeshivas in Poland and Lithuania were students of the Talmud Torah of Kelm. Some were:

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