From August 14th through August 18th, 1999, my guide Regina Kopilevich
from Vilnius, her helper, and I, spent four days in Zeimelis.
We spent most of the time documenting all the tombstones in the Jewish
cemetery. Regina is very good at reading Hebrew inscriptions on tombstones.
We examined all the tombstones that we could. We tried to read every single
tombstone. Altogether we looked at 249 tombstones, out of which 121
stones were unreadable, either because
the inscriptions were too faint or nonexistent, due to extreme weathering,
or because the quality of the original stone was poor. We found 34 tombstones
that had last names as well as first names. The other 94 tombstones that
Regina could read only had first names. We used shaving cream and
charcoal to enhance the letters on some of the stones, so that Regina could
read the inscriptions better. Regina also read some of the letters, by
feel, with her fingers, like someone reading Braille. I took photographs
of most of the tombstones that Regina could read. The tombstones that I
took photos of are indicated in the rightmost column of Index 1 and
Index 2, above.
Stones that were upside down, we turned right side up, so we could see
the inscriptions. For those stones that were mostly submerged and buried
below the ground, we removed enough of the earth around the stone, so that
we could see the entire inscription.
All the tombstones were roughly in about 36 rows, which we numbered A through
Z, then AA through AJ. The tombstones are all facing inthe same direction,
approximately North. The rows in the cemetery we defined as going from
West to East.
Example: A1 means grave number 1 in row A. Grave A2 is east of grave A1.
(Grave No means tombstone number within that particular row, going from
West to East.)
( Please email
all corrections to me, at firstname.lastname@example.org