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Dusiat  דוסיאַט
Dusetos, Lithuania

55o45'N, 25o51'E

  Alternate names: Dusetos [Lith], Dusiat [Yid], Dusiaty [Rus, Pol], Duseati, Dusetoi,
Dusjaty, Dusyat, Dusetai, Dosetas

Yahrzeit - Memorial Date

26th August 1941

3 Elul 5701

This webpage is dedicated to my mother Frume Dobra (nee Glukh) Gamsu z"l, my uncle
Nochum Ber Glukh z"l, grandparents Abraham Welvel & Faige Esther (nee Yalovetsky) Glukh z"l,
my ancestors and all other Jewish inhabitants of Dusetos.


The town is situated on the banks of the Sventoji River also called the Duseta River from which its name is derived. During the time of the Russian Empire the town was known as Dusyati  (Дусяты). The Lithuanians call it Dusetos.

First mentioned in 1520 Dusetos was granted city rights in 1950. Since 11 March 1990 it has been known as Dusetos, Zarasai district municipality, Utena County, Lithuania. For the Litvak Jews the town will  always be Dusiat; Dusat; Dushat.

Dusetos Coat of Arms


The location and terrain of Dusetos and environs can be viewed at the following site:-
          Map Link

          In 1530 there was a Jewish community in Dusetos.
          Jewish population in 1847         486                                 Population in 1897     1,278
          Jewish population in 1894      1,158                                 Population in 2010        794
          Jewish community in 1921        100 families
          Jewish community before the Holocaust  90 - 100 families

          Due to fires in Dusetos in 1806, 1862, 1868, 1905, 1910 many inhabitants relocated.

Dusetos Community Council Seal
Dusetos Community Council Seal

          The Sartai Lake

Dusetos is situated on the south east of the Sartai Lake, one of the biggest lakes in Lithuania and is surrounded by forest and woodlands of oak, birch, linden, spruce and pine trees.

The Sventoji River that flows through the south of Dusetos enters the Sartai Lake. To save travelling time it was it was common to cross over the iced lake in winter often with horse and cart. Many lives were lost as a result of the ice in scattered places being thin and thus cracking.

Amongst those who tried to cross the frozen lake at different times were Isrol Welvel Glukh z"l who died on 10th December 1926 and his son Elchanan Hertz Glukh z"l who died on 11th June 1930. Both  drowned and are buried in Dusetos. In many instances people could hear the cries and screams for help but  were unable to assist fearing for the safety of their own life.
              Israel Zeev ben Eliezer Glukh z"lElchanan Hertz ben Israel Zeev Hacohen
Grave of Isrol Welvel ben Eliezer                   Grave of Elchanan Hertz ben Isrol Welvel
Glukh z"l   5 Tevet 5687                                  Glukh z"l  15 Sivan 5690
(Photos courtesy of Prof. Saul Adelman, 2009)                                                                          

On the first Saturday of February the famous horse racing at the iced Sartai Lake takes place. This has  been held for over 100 years and is regarded as a traditional event. Now it is held indoors at the  hippodrome by the lake side due to the unpredictable weather conditions.

                               The Sartai LakeLake Sartai
Lake Sartai
(Photos courtesy of Ruth Stern, 2007)
Monument to the Mass Graves in the Deguciai Forest in Memory of the 
                                          Jewish Communities of Zarasai and its Environs          

This Monument was erected in 1947.

Dusetos Monument                                     
Inscription above the Magen David 

1941 VIII 26     

Originally the inscription below in Yiddish and Russian from 1947 to 1991 was:-     

 Here lie 8,000 Jews from Zarasai and its environs  
 murderously slaughtered by the German facists on
 August 26, 1941

The inscription was changed in 1991 and now reads in
Yiddish and Lithuanian:-

  Here in this place the Nazi-murderers
  and their collaborators barbarously slew
  8,000 Jews - children, women and men
  Sacred be the memory of the innocent victims

(Photo courtesy of SaraWeiss-Slep, 23 June 1991)

Click here to view additional photos of the Monument

The Jewish Cemetery

This lies in the north west of the town on the road to Abel (Obeliai). On a recent visit it was discovered that a portion of the metal perimeter fence and the entrance gate had been destroyed and hopefully it will be possible to have this reconstructed.

Plans are being made to restore and preserve the upkeep of this ancestral site. Please contact Sara Weiss-Slep for further details. Through the years many of the graves have come into disrepair. Fortunately and with the supreme effort made by Sara Weiss-Slep and Regina Kopilevich as much information as possible from the remaining tombstones were recorded and Prof. Saul Adelman photographed all the gravestones during their visit in July 2009.
Dusetos Cemetery with Reuven
Reuven Milon beside his grandfather's gravestone
(Photo courtesy of Ruth Stern, 2007)                           

Benevolent Association

The Dusater Benevolent Association has a cemetery plot at the Montefiore Cemetery, Queens County, New York, USA. This plot can be found at Block 28, Gate 508N.

The Yizkor Book                                                 
Sincere gratitude to Sara Weiss-Slep who had the foresight to collect information from the Jewish inhabitants of Dusetos and in 1989 completed the compilation and editing of the Dusiat Yizkor book "Ayara Hayeta B'Lita; Dusiat B'Rei Hazichronot".

Translation of the book commenced in 2003 and was recently completed and updated in English covering a period from 1812 to 2007. This translation is available at the Yizkor Book Project.

    "There was a Shtetl in Lithuania: Dusiat Relected in Reminiscences"
to view the book.           
The book is a treasure trove of invaluable information and photographs relating to the times and lives that the Jewish community of Dusiat endured, as well as giving insight into the conditions Jews had to endure in Lithuania and Russia.                                                            

Some Famous Dusetos Jewish Community Members

Elke Baron was a hero of Dusetos and a bold partisan.
Mordechai Yoffe born in 1899 in Dusetos and died 1960 in USA was a well-known Yiddish poet, translator, literary critic. Refer to Yivo Archives RG624.
Bertha Englander (nee Chait) born in 1915 in Dusetos was an actress of the Yiddish theatre in Johannesburg, Rep. South Africa from the late 1920's for over 20 years.
In the photo: Bertha Englander is standing by the doorway of her old home during her visit to Dusetos in 1998.


Memoirs and Family Stories

Contributions of memoirs and family stories of the life, events or visits to Dusetos will enhance our common interest in Dusetos and its inhabitants. Kindly contact the host so your material can be included in this site and shared.

The railway line and railway station - Most towns had the railway line passing through or nearby. Dusetos has the railway line and railway station far away due to the farmers who objected, fearing that the noise would disturb their animals - the roosters would crow much earlier in the morning resulting in the cows producing less milk and the chickens less eggs.
Recounted by Frume Dobra
(nee Glukh) Gamsu z"l.

Lake Sartai and its tributaries played an important part in the livelihood of my grandfather Avraham Welvel Glukh z"l who used to rent forests surrounding Dusetos and together with his brother Yankel Moshe Glukh z"l would cut down the trees, transport the logs to the Lake and move the logs downstream to the purchaser.
Recounted by Frume Dobra (nee Glukh) Gamsu z"l.

Searcheable Databases

JewishGen Family Finder (for Dusetos). Search the JGFF (JewishGen Family Finder) for others with research interests in Dusetos or researching common family names.

JewishGen Lithuania Database (for Dusetos). This database includes more than 980,000 records for Lithuania, from a variety of sources including: vital records, revision lists, voter lists, yizkor books, business directories and other holocaust sources, as well as the LitvakSIG "All Lithuania" Database.

Other Dusetos Links

"Dusetos" The Holocaust in 21 Lithuanian Towns
"Dusetos" Pinkas Hakehillot Lita" (Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Lithuania)

"Zarasai District Research Group"

Reference Source

''Lithuanian Jewish Communities''   by Nancy Schoenburg and Stuart Schoenburg
Dusiat (Dusetos)  Pages 93-95       
Jason Aronson Inc.  First Edition 1996  

Compiled by Ada Gamsu 
Updated  January 2011
Copyright © 2011  Ada Gamsu

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