Thank you for visiting Avaslan. This website is named after the ancestral farm of my Zlotover ancestors, which was situated on the banks of the Venta river in Northern Lithuania.Brian writes about his attending the dedication of the memorial to the Jews murdered on the beaches of Skede, and provides photos of Libau as it used to be and of present-day Liepaja. I wish I could e-mail him to thank him for the website, but there's no link provided, so this posting will have to express my thanks.
The four grandparental branches of my family tree all originated from the same corner of the Pale of Settlement. The family all left Heim in the late 1880s with most emigrating to England or Ireland. These days family members are spread throughout the world - from China to Australia, US, Israel and everywhere inbetween.
My genealogy research has been predominately focused in the triangle bordered by Vilnius in Lithuania and Riga and Liepaja in Latvia. In earlier times, this was largely known as the Duchy of Courland.
During my researches, I have traipsed through tumbled down cemeteries, waded in remote streams in search of ruined watermills and attended emotional memorial services in the killing fields of Skede. I have also met local dignitaries and on one occasion even had drinks with the British ambassador to Latvia on board a Royal Navy warship in Liepaja.
Seeing his site made me wonder about other websites put up by descendants of Libau Jews (other than Jews in Liepaja/Latvia 1941-45, put up by Edward Anders and Juris Dubrovskis, which is a database of victims and survivors of WWII. If I come across any more I will note them here.