Gates of the Sēļi Park
|• Total||133 km2 (51 sq mi)|
|• Density||15/km2 (40/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Calling code||+371 652|
Aknīste ( pronunciation (help·info); Lithuanian: Aknysta; formerly German: Oknist) is a town in Aknīste municipality, Selonia, in the southern portion of Latvia, near the Lithuanian border. The town is located near the river Dienvidsusēja.
The name, Aknīste, was first mentioned in 1298. From the 17th century the settlement was a part of Lithuania and after the partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, of the Kovno Governorate of the Russian Empire, but in the early 1920s Lithuania exchanged Aknīste for Palanga.
The settlement was the site of a mass killing of Jewish residents, during the Nazi occupation of the Baltic states. 98% of the approximately 140 Jews in Akniste before July 18, 1941 were killed, mostly by Latvian SS units before the Germans arrived in Akniste.
In 1991, Aknīste was granted the town status.
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