Ludza

Ludza

Lutzin, Ludzen, Lucyn

 

Distance from Riga 272 km (A6, A12)

 

There is some evidence of the first Jews settling here in the 16th century. The local Jewish community was formed in the early 18th century. By 1815 the 1,176 Jews, who lived here, made up 67% of the total population of the town.

Ludza was an important Jewish religious centre. The famous Rabbis from the Altshuler, the Tsiuni and the Donchin (DonYehia) families lead the Jewish community for more than 150 years. There were 8 synagogues and prayer houses in the town in the 1930s.

The 1,518 Jews, who lived in the town in 1935, made up 24% of its overall population.

Thirteen Jewish families were deported from Ludza to Siberia on the 14th of June 1941.

The Nazi troops entered Ludza on the 3rd of July 1941. The Jews were forced to relocate into a ghetto. Most of them were exterminated during several mass executions. Some 120 Jews were transported to Daugavpils and Rezekne, where they later died.

After the WWII not more than 100 Jews lived in Ludza. However, until the late 1980s the town Jews attended the synagogue and matzoth were made locally. Later due to the emigration in the 1980s, the number of Jews in the town decreased. The Jewish community of Ludza was revived in 1990s and now consists of 15 members.

 

The Great Synagogue, Pirmā maija, 31. One of the oldest synagogues in Latvia, it was originally built in 1801 and reconstructed in 1937. Now the synagogue is not in use.

Monument to the Victims of the Holocaust, at the lakeside near the synagogue. The monument was unveiled in 1991.

A Jewish School, Raiņa, 14. A Yiddish primary school was opened here in 1919. The school had 209 pupils in 1935. The building was extensively reconstructed and converted into a residential house.

Cemetery, E. Soikāna St. This one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Latvia was opened in the mid-18th century and is currently in operation for burials.

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