The history of Jews’ in Plungė began similarly as in most Lithuanian shtetls. At the beginning of the 18th century, the majority of Jews who settled in this town were small merchants and craftsmen, however, during the interwar period, Plungė Jewish community became distinctive for their innovative initiatives that made local people’s lives easier.
In the 19th century, under the initiative of the Oginski family, a brick building was built at the Plunge market square, so that the local merchants could sell their goods. Such actions had been done in order to reconstruct the town and revive its commerce after devastating fires, which times and time again destroyed the town’s center. These small shops were often leased to poor Jewish merchants.
Active members of the Plunge Jewish community took a huge role in the town’s modernization during the interwar period. Mendel Zaks opened the first electric station in town. The Jewish quarter of Plunge is not only famous for their small shops, but also by their innovative business decisions. Jewish businessmen even sold petroleum in the town’s market square.
Now only one building remains that reminds us about the town’s Jewish past – Jewish Hebrew gymnasium and Jewish library building, located in S. Nėries street. Iconic Jewish shops at the market square were destroyed just after the end of the Second World War. Now in their place stands new commercial buildings.
– Litvak Memorial Garden, 56.062383, 21.821884
– Memorial of Victims of the Holocaust in Kaušėnai, 55.921067, 21.783250
– Former Jewish Gymnasium and Jehuda Peretz Library (S. Neries str. 6), 55.913700, 21.848991
– Dr. Borisas Efrosas Memorial Plaque and His House (Vytauto str. 14), 55.913471, 21.841670