Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lithuania: Fire Destroys Much of Pakruojis Wooden Synagogue

Pakruojis synagogue before the fire. Photo: Ruth Ellen Gruber (2006)

Lithuania: Fire Destroys Much of Pakruojis Wooden Synagogue
by Samuel D. Gruber

(ISJM) News sources in Lithuania report that a fire this weekend destroyed at least half of the historic wooden synagogue of Pakruojis. In September I wrote and posted photos of the deteriorating condition of the building, located near the center of the town. We await full details of the situation.

The cause of the blaze is still to be determined, but police suspect arson. Whether the fire was an anti-Semitic act or merely the burning (accidental or intentional) of a long-abandoned building is unknown. Colleagues in Lithuania report that Anti-Semitism in the country is reaching a "fever pitch" with many repeated articles claiming that Jews (especially George Soros) are wrecking the Lithuanian economy. There is also the "widespread belief that Jews and America prevent the prosecuting of 'Jewish Partisan war criminals.'" Whether any of these beleifs - hardly new - played a role in the fire remains to be seen.

1 comment:

samjh said...


I was in Pakruojis last week and have some photos of the fire damaged synagogue, also a couple of shots of the interior. Please get in touch if you would like me to send them to you. My email address is

Best wishes,