Author Archives: Andrew

About Andrew

Retired journalist, Keidan descendent.

Coming Together for Passover

“Getting together for Passover” used to be one of those second-nature ideas, an assumption for families and groups of friends every year about this time. This year, of course, the phrase has become bitterly ironic. With everyone more or less … Continue reading

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A Century in Photographs

This website – and everyone interested in Keidan – owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the Kedainiai Regional Museum, whose director, Rimantas Zirgulis, has been the driving force behind efforts to preserve and commemorate the history of  this complex, … Continue reading

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The Problematic Hirsh Bloshtein

Among the pages I’ve added to the Keidan archives this week is this 1958 article from the Yiddish newspaper Morgen Freiheit by the Keidan-born poet and novelist Hirsh Bloshtein. Morgen Freiheit was a publication “affilitated with the Communist Party USA” … Continue reading

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Locating Lost Tribes

On the “Roots in Keidan” Facebook group, Bruce Patt asks if there is any documentation about a Keidaner organization in Chicago. The answer is … yes! In the 1930s, the Keidaner Association of New York published a monthly bulletin, filled … Continue reading

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Opening the Archives

After years of procrastination, I have finally collected and published the bulk of the Keidan memorial books on line. Continue reading

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The Badkhn of Keidan

Beginning in the 1870s, a Keidan badkhn named David Lindy compiled his wedding material into a beautifully handwritten book, which was later brought to America. Continue reading

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The Keidan cemetery database

One of the best-read features of the old Keidan website was a directory of gravestone inscriptions, heroically and improbably gathered by the genealogist Ada Green. For a couple years back in the late 1990s, Ada visited Keidaner cemeteries in New … Continue reading

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Simchas-Toyre in Keidan

Every year at this time I turn to a story about Keidan, specifically about how the Simchas Toyre holiday was celebrated in the town. My grandfather published this set of vignettes and memories in 1940, as part of the Keidaner … Continue reading

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August 28

  “The mass murder of the Jews of Keidan, together with Jews from nearby Shat [Šeta] and Zheim [Žeimiai] began on the afternoon of August 28, 1941. At the airfield, Soviet prisoners of war were forced to dig a huge … Continue reading

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Where was Keidan?

The Russian empire was divided into provinces, or guberniyas. Keidan was a district capital in what the Russians called Kovno guberniya, a province governed from the city of Kovno (Kaunas), some 40 kilometers south.

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