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Marijampole

MARIJAMPOLE

MARIJAMPOLE (Rus. Mariampol ), city in S. Lithuania. In 1856 there were 2,853 Jews in Marijampole; in 1897 there were 3,268 (c. 49% of the total population); and on the eve of World War i, 5,000. Many of them were admitted to Russian boys' and girls' secondary schools. In addition to the traditional ḥadarim, a "reformed ḥeder," where Hebrew was the language of instruction, was established. During World War i the Jews were expelled and a number were imprisoned for allegedly collaborating with the enemy. In 1923 there were 2,545 Jews (21% of the total). The majority of them earned their livelihood from trading in agricultural produce and small industry. There were also some landowners and smallholders. The Jews of Marijampole engaged in extensive nationalist political and cultural activities. They established welfare and cultural institutions of a high standard, including the first Hebrew secondary school in Lithuania (1919). There was also a farm which provided training for ḥalutzim in the vicinity of the city. When the Germans occupied the city in 1941, the Jews were concentrated in a local ghetto together with other Jews from the surrounding area. Over 7,000 of them were massacred at the beginning of September 1941.

bibliography:

Lite, 1 (1951), 1563–67, 1839–42.

[Dov Levin]

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