Daugėliškis (Naujasis Daugėliškis, Daugieliszki, Daugelishok) | Utena

/ Anastasia Z., born in 1934: “Before the war, my brother and I used to go to the nearby town of Naujasis Daugėliškis to buy goods in the Jewish stores.” ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum Vytautas L., born in 1932: “When we brought the Jews to the polygon, I saw long trenches 20 meters long and 2 meters wide prepared there. They were still empty at the time.” ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of 16 Jews of Daugėliškis, murdered in July 14, 1941 by a Lithuanian squad of white armbanders in the forest near Maksimonys village. Monument, erected in 1991, is missing from 2005. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Daugėliškis

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Anastasia Z., born in 1934: "I used to live in Maksimonys. Numerous Jews lived in the nearby village of Naujasis Daugėliškis. I remember that during the war a shooting was conducted in the forest near Maksimonys. I was asleep when the shooting started. I heard the shots and a lot of screaming coming out from the forest that night. I was terrified and my father told me to hide. I didn’t understand back then what was going on. The shooting did not last long." (Testimony N°YIU406LT, interviewed in Tverečius, on November 1, 2022)

Historical note

Daugėliškis, composed of two parts, the old village (Senasis Daugėliškis) and the new village (Naujasis Daugėliškis), is situated approximately 50 km (31 mi) southeast of Utena and about 27 km (16,7 mi) northeast of Švenčionys. The first mention of the town comes from 14th century. In the interwar period of 20th century, Daugėliškis was part of Poland. According to 1930 census, 175 Jewish residents were recorded as living in the town, comprising 50% of the local population.

Local Jews, most of whom lived in New Daugėliškis, were primarily engaged in commerce and artisanal work, while some of them worked the land. Many stores in the town were operated by them. Daugėliškis was home to a Jewish elementary school with Yiddish language instruction, a Hebrew-Yiddish library, two study houses and a bank. Most of the young Jews in  Daugėliškis were engaged in Zionist movements.

In 1939, after the Soviet occupation, Daugėliškis was first annexed by Belorussian SSR, and later, by the Lithuanian SSR. According to sources, on the eve of the German occupation, over 300 Jews lived in Daugėliškis. Some of them managed to evacuate to the eastern part of the Soviet Union after the German invasion, while most of the elderly Jews remained in the town, not willing to leave their homes.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Daugėliškis was occupied by German forces on July 2, 1941. A Lithuanian partisan squad of white armbanders, which would later become part of the auxiliary police force, was formed in Daugėliškis before the German invasion. Shortly afterwards, Jewish property was looted, and anti-Jewish measures were implemented in the town, mandating that the Jews deemed fit for work must perform forced labor, such as pulling grass in the streets, chopping wood, etc. After a brief period of military administration, when the town transitioned to German civil administration, the white armbanders started to arrest and shoot those considered loyal to the Soviet regime. Thus, on July 14, 1941, 16 local Jews were rounded up and escorted to the nearby forest, located on the outskirts of the Maksimonys village, where they were executed. Yahad managed to locate their mass grave.  

From September 8, 1941, an open ghetto was set up in Daugėliškis when Jews were compelled to move to the poorest area on the edge of the town. In addition, Jewish detainees were ordered to surrender all their valuables. The ghetto was liquidated over the course of an Aktion, presumably carried out on September 27, 1941, by Germans, Lithuanian partisans and local policemen. On that day, the Jews, around 50 people in total, were ordered to gather with their belongings on the Catholic church square, where they were loaded onto numerous carts and driven by requisitioned Lithuanians under supervision of the guards. The carts took them to barracks in the former Soviet military training camp, known as the Poligon transit camp, located near Švenčionys, about 1,5 km from Švenčionėliai. After several days of detention, on October 7-8, 1941, most of Daugėliškis Jews were executed along with other Jewish detainees from the Švenčionys region.

For more information about the killing of Jews in Švenčionėliai please follow the corresponding profile.

Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania

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