Video on Veisiejai Kapciamiestis Leipalingis Seirijai
This video was filmed in 1997.
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Marcia & Paul Greenbaum's visit Fall 2012
Full report of entire visit to Lithuania can be seen under Trips tab
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Early snow in Kapciamiestis
Steps going down to the river
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The fence around the cemetery is now completed
Algis Vaskevicius, Ralph Salinger's good friend from Mariampole, Lithuania, and ...
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Visit to Kapciamiestis June 2012
Carol visited Kapciamiestis at the end of June.
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Where were they, where are they?
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Cemetery Project, phase 2, May 2012
Ralph returned to Kapciamiestis in May 2012 and accomplished bringing the ...
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Kapciamiestis Jewish Youth Association
Between 1926-1940 the Jewish youth of Kapciamiestis formed an independent ...
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Lithuanian Holocaust Atlas
The Lithuanian Holocaust Atlas is now on the internet in English and ...
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Kapciamiestis Emily Platerytė School
Keep up to date with the happenings at the school
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Cemetery Project
Efforts to preserve the cemetery and construct a fence
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Virtual Tour of Kapciamiestis
this was taken in the summer of 2011
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Updated Yad Vashem list
See on the Yizkor page the updated list from Yad Vashem
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School photo 1926
See Photographs
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Kapciamiestis school children remember the Holocaust
Do check into this site...
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The Jews of Kopcheve
written by Dorothy Leivers
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Kopcheve Kinder
Do you have news or photos for us?
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Kopcheve (Yiddish)                   Kopciowo (Polish)                   Koptsiovo (Russian)

                                 Kopcheve (Yiddish)           Kopciowo (Polish)          Koptsiovo (Russian)

Jews once lived in the shtetl  and gmina (rural district) of Kopciowo, Suwalki gubernia now known as Kapciamiestis, Lithuania.  This was a small community and many of its residents  were related by marriage. They lived here from the late 18th century until 1941.

No Jews live in Kapciamiestis today. A  few lucky ones emigrated before the start of WWII, a handful survived and most were murdered in the Katkiske Ghetto, Lazidai.  Today, their descendents can be found throughout the world.  We are 3 genealogy fanatics who met because of our interest in this small place.  We dedicate this page to the memory of a community our ancestors loved and called home. Please join us in our effort to collect and make available as much information as we can.  

                                             Connie Buchanan,    Carol Hoffman,    Dorothy Leivers



See the new fence as it stands today!



 


Carol's visit to Kapciamiestis June 2012:


gate to cemetery


Work should start sometime the first week of July. The visit has been very positive, people have been friendly and helpful. I shall write a complete report when I return home, including photos. 26 June 2012



Wednesday 25 June 2012 I rented a car in Vilnius and set off with Rashele [Ofchinskas] Sheraite to Kapciamiestis,
see route. The drive is about 2 hours. I had made appointments in advance with the Elder, the school and the Priest. It needs to be stated here that I do not know Lithuanian.  Although I had written to them in advance in English and a rough translation, it was Rashele who phoned them to verify and remind them about the appointments. Here we are on the main road entering Kapciamiestis.

The cemetery is well kept albeit the stones show the effect of the extreme weather conditions there. Moss has started to show on the existing stones, and some moss has grown over the broken stones. Nevertheless, there is no sign of weeds, rubbish or visible animal visitations.


Flowers adorn the main memorial stone, as does a large new glass memorial candle. I had come with Yizkor candles from Israel the wind was fierce and it was quite a challenge to light them. Therefore I understood the large glass candle placed. I do not know who placed that new candle. General overall picture of the Kapciamiestis Jewish Cemetery June 2012:





 

Some specific photos can be compared to what the stones looked like 12 years ago:



Full report


                                           
Kopcheve as a Jewish shtetl was probably at its largest in the 1890s when the Jewish population of 528 represented 40% of the total (1,314)  By 1923, that had dwindled to 187, 22% (835).  In 1940, it is estimated there were approximately 45 families.  (Pinkas Hakehilot).  This was and remains a largely agrarian community.   It is located in the south west of Lithuania, near the Polish and Belarus borders, 12 km from Veisiejie and 40 from Lazdijai.  It is 26 km southeast of Sejny in Poland and 107 km south of Kaunus (Kovna). Latitude: 54deg 00', Longitude: 23 deg 39'

This is a magnified segment taken from a 1909 map of the area. 


When compared to a detailed 1985 map of Kapciamiestis, it was obvious that the underlying layout of the town centre had barely changed in the intervening years.

The Jewish population lived mainly in the town center within easy walk of the synagogue.  The cemetery is on the outskirts of the town near the Neda River and the main road to Viesiejie.   With help from elderly residents of the town and 3 ex residents now in Israel,  it has been possible to create a map which with reasonable accuracy indicates where our ancestors lived.

With the German invasion in 1941, the town centre burned.  Although the original houses are no longer there, the town probably looks much as it did then with replacement housing being built in the traditional wood style on the same or similar sites to those which existed pre war.  Our reconstructed map appears on the Genealogy Page

The Kapciamiestis Rural District included a number of small villages, estates and farms. A list as per the 1923 census can be found here

MAPS:

The Illustrated Geographic Atlas of the Kingdom of Poland (Atlas Geograficzny Illustrowany Królestwa Polskiego)  Maps from this 1907 Atlas are on the Polish Genealogy Society of America  Kopciowo is on map 83 .

Maps of Lithuania (in Lithuanian): Detailed map with Kapciamiestis circled
. The location of Kapciamiestis is here
.

From the book, Dzuku Krastas Kaunas: Krastotvarka, 1999 maps of 
current Kapciamiestis and
the Lazdijai region

A map of the Holocaust in Lithuania is found in Lietuvos istorijos atlasas. Vilnius: VAGA, 2001.

 

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