SKUODAS, city in N.W. Lithuania. In the 17th century the community of Skuodas was subject to that of Kedainiai and belonged to "the state of Zamut." Occasionally the state commission assembled in Skuodas, and in 1766 576 Jews paid the poll tax there. In 1847 the number of Jews in the city was 1,872; in 1897 there were 2,292 (60% of the total population). A synagogue existed from the early 18th century, housing an elaborate wooden ark. When an independent Lithuania was established in 1918, the Skuodas community also had a Hebrew-school system, including a secondary school. The cutting off of the sources of trade in Luebeck and Memel, however, contributed to the decline of the community and to a move to the larger cities. In 1921 there were 385 Jews in Skuodas; in 1939 there were approximately 250, all of whom were killed by the Nazi occupation forces.
Yahadut Lita, 3 (1967), 367–8.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.