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Plungė, Telšiai County, Lithuania

To enlarge the map click here Building housing a mikveh (ritual bath), Plunge, prewar Building housing a mikveh (ritual bath), Plunge, prewar YVA, Photo Collection, 181co2 New Year greetings card, Plunge, 1935 New Year greetings card, Plunge, 1935 YVA, Photo Collection, 4316

Jews began settling in Plunge during the sixteenth century. At the end of the nineteenth century, some 1,850 Jews lived in the town, accounting for 56 percent of the local population. In 1940, the town had a population of nearly 1,700 Jews (28 percent of the total population); most of them earned their livelihood in commerce, craft and light industry.
Following the Soviet annexation of Lithuania in June 1940, all local shops and industry, mostly Jewish-owned, were nationalized. Jewish educational and political institutions were closed down.
On June 22, 1941, while the Soviets retreated from Lithuania, local armed nationalists took control of Plunge, ordered the Jewish population to leave their homes and incarcerated them in the town’s synagogue.
The German army occupied Plunge on June 24, 1941. The town’s Jews, imprisoned in the synagogue, were brutally tortured, and several were sent to forced labor. The Jews of Plunge were killed in two murder operations during 1941. The Red Army liberated Plunge in the summer of 1944.