Historical Jewish quarter in Druskininkai


This small town inspired various artists, including Jews, throughout different times. One of the artists was Abelov Jacob Moshe. He was born in 1846 and turned out to be one of the most famous musicians, singers, and conductors in Lithuania. His voice many times has filled in the Great Synagogue of Vilna.  We recommend you to visit Druskininkai and maybe you will find the muse that inspired different generations of artists. 

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Jewish community settled in Druskininkai relatively late – in the middle of the 18th century, although, at the end of the 19th century, the Jews constituted about half of the town’s total population. The majority of Jews lived in the center of the town – near the main market square. Just as in other towns, Jews usually engaged in trade and small crafts, however, they also played a huge role in Druskininkai becoming a resort town.

In 1853, the first shelter for the poor was opened, and soon after, under the initiative of dr. J. Pileckis the Jewish hospital was established in the town. The synagogue stood in the very center of the town, in the current day Vilnius avenue, which was surrounded by small grocery stores. During the Second World War, the town lost its vibrant Jewish community, as well as the synagogue, and small groceries were replaced by others. 


The town’s name is well known because of Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973), a world-wide known sculptor, who was born in Druskininkai. At the beginning of the 20th century, when Jacques still was just a small Jewish boy, his father – Abraham – was a well-known man, as in 1909, he opened the “Central” hotel. This building survived to our days and maintained its original interior (Šv. Jokūbo str. 22). Besides various Jewish houses that survived the Second World War, the old Jewish cemetery reminds us about the town’s Jewish community, however, only 3 macevas survived to our days, as in 1976, almost all territory of the former Jewish cemetery was bulldozed to the ground.


Memorial Museum to Jacques Lipchitz  (Šv. Jokūbo str. 17) 54.020000, 23.972333 (the museum is currently closed for renovation)

The old Jewish cemetery in Druskininkai, 54.008233, 23.972364

The old Jewish cemetery in Ratnyčia, 54.001389, 24.014167

Historical Hotel “Central” (Šv. Jokūbo str. 22) 54.019917, 23.971778

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  • Harris L. Cohen, MD
    2023-01-09 at 7:41 pm  -  Reply

    Thanks for info
    Is there a place of community records so I can look up my family the Gozansky family that had only 1 WWII survivor

  • Anita Liskowski
    2024-02-10 at 4:08 pm  -  Reply

    looking for any documentation death birth or original ownership of property in Druskanikai for the Liskowski family.
    Hirsch Liskowski was the only member of the family to survive the holocaust.
    Thank you

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