"The tragedy of the Holocaust not only wiped out 90 percent of our Jewish neighbors. It left a traumatic imprint on our collective consciousness that we still do not fully understand, because part of our identity and our history was destroyed," Daiva Price, a lecturer at Vytautas Magnus University (VDU), which is hosting the forum, and curator of the Kaunas 2022 Memory Office program, said in a press release.

"Therefore, talking about Litvaks is first and foremost important for us who want to better understand our history and ourselves in it," she added.

The organizers say the forum will feature discussions on "what it means to be Litvak today" and "how art can help us understand a complex history".

According to Price, the forum is a summary of the Memory Office program's efforts to remind people that Kaunas has always been a multiethnic city.

"Almost a third of Kaunas' inhabitants were Jewish. This is a truly large community that has made an extremely significant contribution to the city's culture, medicine, industry, architecture and sports," the curator said.

"Kaunas' Jews loved their city, actively contributed to its growth and modernization, and created their future here," she added.

The forum is expected to be attended by Litvaks from around the world, including artists William Kentridge, Jenny Kagan, Philip Miller and Marilia Destot, as well as academics Peter Salovey and Antony Polonsky.

More than 90 percent of Lithuania's pre-war Jewish population of over 200,000 were killed by the Nazis, often with the help of Lithuanian collaborators, during World War Two.

Over 800 Lithuanians have been named Righteous Among the Nations for saving Jews.

Currently, Lithuania is home to some 5,000 Jews.

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