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The Jewish cemetery in Vilnius at Kirkutowa St. was established in 1831, when the Tsarist authorities had closed the oldest Vilnius' Jewish necropolis in the southern part of ®vejai (Polish "Pióromont") due to the fact that a fortress was planned to be built in that place.

A new cemetery - now this word is rather used to describe the newest necropolis at ©eąkine (Polish Szeszkinie) - was located on the woodless hill in the eastern part of the city, between Antakalnis (Polish "Antokol") and Uľupis (Polish "Zarzecze"). According to a pre-war guide a wide avenue was crossing the middle of the cemetery and there were built some Jewish required buildings. There were no any great artistic value gravestones, but rather conventional shaped ones. Hirsz Klaczko - a Haskalah activist, a father of Julian Klaczko - a literary man and publicist was buried there.

The cemetery survived the Nazi occupation and was finally destroyed in 1958 by the Soviet authorities. Gravestones were removed and used to build bridgeheads on the Neris River and staircases to Tauro Kalnas. The street leading to the cemetery was lengthened (Dailidľiu gatve now) and some space of the cemetery was turned into a built- up area. The most noticeable building is the large, built in 1973 secular mortuary (funeral home) with some asphalt spaces around. Numerous slivers of the former tombstones lie about there. In the west part of the cemetery some gravestones - partly damaged - stand in their original places. Circa 2000 some preserved or regained gravestones were used to make the lapidarium - stone monument collection.

Transport: Bus 27, 34, 37 and 44 along Olandu gatve up to Kriviu bus stop at the beginning of Dailidľiu gatve. The memorial is located on the north side of the street. Behind it on the hill there are to find some fragments of the gravestones. The whole area is fenceless and unguarded.

text and photos: Szymon Kucharski
translation: Magda Wojtecka
Kłos Juliusz, Wilno - przewodnik krajoznawczy , wyd. III popr., Wilno 1937
Małachowicz Edmund, Wilno - dzieje, architektura, cmentarze , Wrocław 1996
For more pictures from the Vilnius cemetery go to www.bagnowka.com

General sight A part of the monument
with broken matzevot
tombstone of Sara, daughter of Zvi-Hirsh Zimkowicz The western part
of the cemetery
with preserved matzevot
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