Julius Ludwig Wiener tombstone in Klaipėda


The most generous man in Klaipėda, who left all his wealth to the city and its people, had an interesting life and even afterlife. His tomb traveled from place to place until it returned to its original place. 


The Jewish position in Klaipėda had drastically changed after 1812 when bans that forbade Jews to live in the town were removed. After this date, Jews gradually began to settle in Klaipėda, and their role in the town’s economic and cultural life gradually increased as well. Julius Ludwig Wiener – (1795-1862), a plant seed merchant from Gdansk, in search of a new business market moved to Klaipeda in 1817, and later became one of the well-known citizens of Klaipeda in the 19th century. He was an active philanthropist as he generously shared his wealth with the poor, under his will numerous caritative buildings (such as Merchant Shelter and Girl’s education institute) were built to improve the overall living conditions and to give access to education to the children from poorer families. 

Even though Julius Ludwig Wiener enjoyed enormous wealth, he was not interested in building residential mansions and remained loyal, more modest to the city life as he rented the apartment near the main market square. 


Wiener‘s life was not a typical one, just as his afterlife. In his final will he stated that he will grant money to the local Jewish community under one condition; if he will be buried in the main city cemetery. In 1862, just after his death, his final will had been fulfilled, as his remains were buried in the public cemetery. On the four-column tomb, one sentence was inscribed, which accurately describes his life: “His memory is respected by his friends and blessed by the poor.”. 

During the Soviet occupation, his place of rest was vandalized, as the old public cemetery was destroyed, however, his tomb managed to survive due to its historical and artistic values.


Synagogue of Klaipėda Jewish Community( Žiedų alley 3) 55.703611, 21.139722

Former Jewish Cemetery (Sinagogų str.), 704627, 21.139655

Valsonok Memorial Plaque (I. Kanto str. 9) 55.716867, 21.123736

Shelter for Impoverished Merchants(Herkaus Manto str. 23) 55.716514, 21.128275

Education Institute for Girls (Herkaus Manto str. 21) 55.716236, 21.128491

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