KYBARTAI (Pol. and Rus. Kibarty; in Jewish sources, קיבארט), town in S. Lithuania; on the German border until 1941. Through its position on the Kovno-Koenigsberg railroad, opposite the German town of Eydtkuhnen, Kybartai developed into an important commercial center in the 19th century. There were 533 Jews living in the town in 1897 (approximately half of the total population). The town was destroyed during the retreat of the Russian army in 1914 and rebuilt after the war. The community numbered 1,253 (20%) in 1923. For many years the Kybartai community remained linked with the nearby community in Wirballen (Virbalis), being under its rabbinical jurisdiction, and using the same cemetery. Kybartai was the birthplace of the painter, Isaac *Levitan. Around 350 Jews remained when the Germans arrived in June 1941. The men were executed in July, the others in the Verbalis ghetto in September.
Yahadut Lita, 3 (1967), 345.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.