Kuldīga

Kuldīga

Goldingen

 

Distance from Riga 150 km (A10)

 

The Jews were granted permission to live here only after 1795, when Courland became a part of the Russian Empire. A Chevra Kadisha started functioning in Kuldiga in 1801. Soon after that a synagogue, a Jewish school, and a Talmud Torah were built.

The 2,330 Jews, who lived in the town in 1835, made up 57% of its overall population. By 1935, only 646 out of 7,180 people, who lived here, were Jewish.

The Nazi troops entered Kuldiga on the 1st of July 1941. A large group of the town Jews were shot in the near forest at the early days of the occupation. The remaining Jews were transported to the Padure woodlands a few kilometres from the town and shot there. Only a small number of Jews, hidden by the local residents, escaped the extermination.

 

Synagogue, 1905 gada, 6. The building was erected in 1875. In 1941 the local Jews were kept prisoner here. After the WWII, the synagogue was used as a granary and in 1958 it was converted into a cinema. The building is currently undergoing the reconstruction and will venture the new town library with a section, designated to display exhibits, related to the history of the local Jewish community. The Beit Tahara and the Small Synagogue, built in 1862 and converted into a garage during the Soviet time, can be seen in the courtyard of the main building. After the renovation works in 2010-2011 in these premises the Main District Library is situated.

Cemetery, Liepājas St. It was opened in the early 19th century as a multi-denominational communal cemetery, divided into Lutheran, Catholic, Russian Orthodox, and Jewish sections. The park was set out on its grounds in 1970. More than 20 headstones can still be seen in the Jewish area of the former cemetery.

Jewish School, Smilšu, 6. It was opened in 1926. The lessons were conducted in German and Hebrew. The building presently ventures the municipal school of music.

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