Uzpaliai, Lithuania

Uzpaliai, known to our ancestors as Ushpol, is a small village in the northeastern corner of modern-day Lithuania. Its one of those towns that you would barely notice as you passed through. But it was once home to several hundred Jewish people, my family among them.   I hope to provide some information about Ushpol, so that the Ushpol that once was, might exist again, at least in our memories.

If you have any comments or materials to share, please contact me.

 (photograph courtesy of Linda Cantor)

 (photograph courtesy of Ruth Stern)


References and Research                                

Please note: The spelling of names and town names are copied exactly as they appear in each source

JGFF - JewishGen Family Finder

Memoirs of Yakov Kopelansky z'l Memoirs of Yakov Kopelansky - Read Yakov's fascinating description of life in Uzpaliai   

1930 Lithuanian Telephone Book                  


Ushpoler Benevolent Association of New York  including burials at Baron Hirsch Cemetery, Staten Island, NY and Incorporation Papers  


 Uzpaliai in print - Eastern Lithuanian Towns and Villages by Algimantas Miskinis, translated for us by Vitalijus Karalius   

Where Once We Walked by Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack.  Teaneck, NJ:  Avotaynu, Inc., 1991. 
Uzpaliai, Lith.  (Oshpol, Uschpol, Uzpalis); pop. 551; 114 km. N of Vilnius; 55 39' /25 35'


YIVO - Documents from YIVO's Record Group 2, Collection of Lithuanian Jewish Communities.


Uzpaliai in History

  Uzpaliai in the Holocaust
  The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust - Editor in Chief, Shmuel Spector, Consulting Editor Geoffrey Wigoder, New York University Press, New York, 2001.

Lithuanian Jewish Communities by Nancy Schaumburg and Stuart Schoenburg.  New York:  Garland Publishing 1991.

Uzpaliai in Photographs  
  to see wonderful photographs of Uzpaliai, current as well as old (including family photos and cemetery information.
       Family Albums    




This statue is in the middle of town, with the church on one side and the town hall on the other.  The statue is dedicated to a Lithuanian hero.  

When the Russians captured Lithuania they destroyed and removed anything related to Lithuanian nationalism.  In an attempt to save the statue the townsfolk asked Meir Yitzchak Shapiro, a great uncle of Arky Berkal, if he would store the statue in his store.  He did and eventually the statue was restored to its place of honor.


(Photo courtesy of Arky Berkal)

Maps of Uzpaliai           - Digital Map of Uzpaliai, showing all the streets and building locations of modern Uzpaliai.  Select "cities and villages," then type in Uzpaliai and, finally, select 'map' for a street map or 'ortophoto' for a satellite view.

Click here to see some of those views.  

Links to related genealogical sites

KehilaLinks page for Kupiskis                 KehilaLinks page for Rokiskis, Lithuania          JewishGen

Yizkor Book for Dusetos (with some interesting photos of Uzpaliai)

JewishGen KehilaLinks Page            LitvakSig Home page                  JewishGen Lithuania Database

Last revised:  Jul 8 2021
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