The Contribution of Šiauliai Jews to the City’s Industrial and Financial Activities

After the war, the industry quickly recovered reaching the level of the pre-war period, as there were active representatives of the Jewish community in the city. In principal, their active manufacturing and trading activities formed the city’s productive capacity and economic guidelines.

Activities of Ch.Frenkelis, brothers Nurokai, Rogalinai and Choronžickiai tanneries were renewed. By competing, they could both oppose each other as equivalent factories and unite in a cartel, which was able to regulate production prices and the amount needed for the domestic market, when Lithuania was affected by the world crisis at the end of the third decade of the 20th century.

After the war, the city’s textile industry grew particularly rapidly, as it was planned to turn Šiauliai into the centre of Lithuanian flax processing industry. In 1920, the flax factory ‘Semlin’, founded by Leiba Bernštein, which employed about 2000 employees during a season, arose. In 1932, brothers Joselis and Mendelis Abramsonai set up even three flax processing factories: ‘Litlin’, ‘Litverp’ and ‘Virvolit’. ‘Audiniai’ enterprise, which produced cotton, linen and wool fabrics, matched these factories. This factory greatly influenced further development of the Lithuanian textile industry.

Inter-war industrial and trade activities were credited by Jewish banks: Š. Nurokas’s bank house, I. Choronžickis’s bank, and the Commercial bank. They provided services to private persons, but primarily to large enterprises, trade establishments, various associations, and the city municipality. For example, Š. Nurokas’s bank house mainly financed the activities of Nurokai factory, etc.

In addition to factories, there were enough trade enterprises and shops in the city. Most of them belonged to Jews and were known for the fact that usually the goods did not have prices, as all shopping in such places was a matter of everlasting negotiations between the buyer and the seller. Usually these institutions were set up in the city centre, around one of the most visited places – the cinema ‘Kapitol’.

Due to Jewish entrepreneurship, Šiauliai quickly not only restored its industry and trade to the pre-Tsarist period but also overtook it.

Ch. Frenkelio fabrikas nuo Prūdelio pusės

Ch. Frenkelio fabrikas nuo Prūdelio pusės.

Šiaulių Didžioji Choralinė sinagoga, vadinta Baltąja gulbe

Šiaulių Didžioji Choralinė sinagoga, vadinta Baltąja gulbe.



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