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Jewish Families of Memel (today Klaipėda, Lithuania)

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This Jewish Town Project attempts to identify and collect Jewish individuals from or connected to Memel, Ostpreussen, now known as Klaipėda in Lithuania.

The history of the Jewish community in Memel is relatively young and marked by many political changes. In the 19th century German Jews and immigrants from the Pale of Settlement met here. Especially after the First World War, when the area was administered by France and then belonged to Lithuania in the interwar period, many Litvaks from the nearby towns moved in. When Hitler invaded the area and the town in March 1939, most of the Jews had no other choice but to flee to Kaunas. Most of them could not get away from there. Many Memel Jews were murdered in the ghetto of Kaunas, or after its dissolution in the camps of Stutthof and Dachau.

The archive of the Jewish community was lost in the war. There are only records from the registry office, which are now in the State Historical Archive in Vilnius. (A large part of the information can be found in the All Lithuania Database (see link below).

For further information on the Jews of Memel/Klapėda see

  1. Lithuanian-Jewish Special Interest Group. All Lithuania Database [https://www.litvaksig.org/all-lithuania-database/]
  2. JewishGen's Memel/Klapėda Koenigsberg page [http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/memel/Home.html]
  3. Virtual History of the Jews of Memel/Klapėda [https://yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Klaipeda]
  4. Virtual History of the Jews of Memel/Klapėda in the Shtetl portal [https://sztetl.org.pl/en/towns/k/1046-klaipeda/99-history/138992-history-of-community]
  5. Jews in East Prussia [https://jewsineastprussia.de/a-z-places-in-east-prussia/]
  6. Ruth Leiserowitz “The Illusion of a transmigrative Existence. Jews in Memel in the 20th Century. [https://jewsineastprussia.de/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/JewsMemel2003.pdf]

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