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Jewish Cemetery Restoration, Yurburg, Lithuania

Reconstructed Entrance Gate to the Yurburg Jewish Cemetery, Lithuania.

On June 22, 1941, Nazi forces launched Operation Barbarossa, invading the Soviet Union. One of the first locations they overran was the town of Yurburg (Jubarkas), Lithuania. Shortly afterwards the Nazis began to murder Yurburg's Jewish population near a Jewish cemetery. Within weeks, a Jewish community with centuries of roots in Yurburg was exterminated.

Through the initiative of survivor families living in the United States and Canada, operating as Friends of the Yurburg Cemetery, Inc., work had begun on restoring the Yurburg Jewish Cemetery. The effort had the support of the Yurburg municipal council and the Jewish community of Kovno (Kaunas).

The project included construction of an entrance gate, proper fencing, repair and re-erection of headstones, cataloguing and mapping of graves, cleanup, landscaping, and maintenance. In November 2006, the entrance gate was completed. The Dartmouth College Hillel lent substantial assistance to the project, sending student volunteers to Yurburg in June, 2007.

The United States Commission on the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad supported the Friends of the Yurburg Cemetery, Inc. on this project, helping to raise funds and accepting donations necessary for the restoration.

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