Little remains of what was once a small, thriving, Jewish shtetl – just enough to trigger one’s imagination.
Located 101 km WNW of Riga, the town of Valdemarpils is located in the Talsi municipality. It is part of the historical and cultural region of Courland, or Kurzeme. Before 1900, in German documents and in many Jewish records, it is called Sassmacken, and until 1926 it was called Sasmaka. Our website focuses on the Jewish history of the town, its records and its families. Contributions of photographs, travel accounts, documents, or family histories are welcome. Please contact me for more information.
Maps and Geography
Jewish Community of Valdemarpils – Custom Google map showing data from 1920s property records and the 1935 Census. Blue markers are property records, green markers are taken from census records on FamilySearch, and purple markers are taken from census data. More details can be seen by clicking on the markers. Disclaimer: Markers are located by Google, and may not be the exact location of the address in 1935.
- Map and description from 1921 Visit – by Laurence Weinberg, contributed by Mark Mitchell. The map above is included with a letter describing various locations. Unfortunately, the photos mentioned are too poor to duplicate.
- Talsi and Valdemarpils, 1989 – an almost historic document at this point, this is my personal account from a trip taken before Latvian independence. Betsy Thal Gephart.
- Latvia Journal, 2003 – an account of my trip to visit newfound relatives in Latvia in August, 2003. Betsy Thal Gephart.
- Valdemarpils Tourism Information Centre
- Valdemarpils – Baltic Country Holidays
- Kurzeme Travel Guide – from Insight Guides
- Sassmacken Manor – from a real estate site featuring Latvian manor houses
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