Lack of Support Leaves Lithuanian Synagogues in State of Ruin

Lithuania’s wooden synagogues, the vestiges of a Jewish presence that was wiped out in the Holocaust, are falling into ruin from a lack of funding and support.

Hidden behind a row of houses, the wooden synagogue in the eastern town of Alanta “looks more like a barn than a former house of worship,” according to a description provided by the AFP news agency.

This rundown building, which served as a fertilizer warehouse during the days of state farms, is now used for storage by Algis Jakutonis, a farmer living next door.

“I store my stuff there, and we still find traces of the Soviet era,” said the 60-something Jakutonis, while displaying the large iron key to the former synagogue, which he acquired before Lithuania’s independence in 1990.


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