It is sometimes hard to understand that certain products that we daily consume, some time ago, were perceived as a rare and even magical commodity. During the interwar period, Abelis Pitelis opened a carbonated water workshop, a place, where the water became a “magical”, fizzy drink.
During the Interwar period, the huge part of the Zarasai district was annexed by the Poles. Annexation challenged the local economy. It affected the Jews too as, during this period, many Jews from Zarasai moved to larger cities. Despite that the Jews dominated the local economy; in the town of Zarasai, there were more than 90 Jewish-owned workshops and about 50 shops owned by Jewish families. Jews often brought innovations to the towns, for example – M. Botvinikas in his photo-atelier sold radios, while A. Pitelis workshop manufactured refreshing carbonated water.
Today the amazing story of A. Pitelis and his carbonated water workshop is a part of non-material Jewish heritage in Zarasai. But if You know the place, where the building of this attraction stood on Sėlių str. 2., it is easier to let your imagination wander around the historical Jewish quarter of Zarasai!
The small beit midrash (Bajorų str. 14), 55.731922, 26.242103
The great beit midrash (Sinagogos str. 3), 55.734225, 26.243228
Monument commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, 55.706000, 25.983000
Printing house established by Kovneris, and later administered by D. Šteiman and E. Rozman (Šiaulių str. 28), 55.736211, 26.244233
The old Jewish cemetery (Šaltupė alley), 55.738353, 26.235517
Jewish cemetery at Kauno street, 55.717250, 26.231653
Photo-atelier of Moisiejus Botvinikas (Sėlių str. 23-24), 55.732106, 26.247086
Carbonated water workshop owned by Abelis Pitelis (Sėlių sq. 2), 55.730917, 26.244598