aA
The Litvak Culture Forum is kicking off in Lithuania's second-biggest city of Kaunas on Thursday.
Litvaks in interwar Lithuania © International Centre for Litvak Photography
Litvaks in interwar Lithuania © International Centre for Litvak Photography

"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.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

Vitkienė to head 2024 Lithuanian Culture Season in France

Dr Virginija Vitkienė, international art and science project manager and curator of exhibitions, has...

Remains of prominent partisan Vitkus-Kazimieraitis allegedly found in Lithuania

The remains of Juozas Vitkus-Kazimieraitis, the founder of the resistance movement and leader of...

Meiliūnaitė appointed head of State Commission of Lithuanian Language

The new State Commission of the Lithuanian Language will be headed by Violeta Meiliūnaitė, a senior...

VU research team awarded prestigious EUR 1.2mn grant

Dr Stephen Knox Jones Jr, a biochemist at Vilnius University (VU) Life Sciences Centre (LSC), and his...

Young Painter’s Prize: what’s on this year?

This year, for the fourteenth time, young artists from across the artistic fields have come to take...

Top news

Skuodis calls eastern gauge tracks in Lithuania and European gauge in China a paradox

Transport Minister Marius Skuodis says that the situation where China has European gauge tracks and...

Almost 80% Lithuanians feel financially insecure

In Lithuania, public unease about a variety of issues in 2022 has increased as compared with 2019.

Public display of tobacco in shops to end as of 2025

The Seimas has decided to prohibit the public display of tobacco products, tobacco-related products...

Vitkienė to head 2024 Lithuanian Culture Season in France

Dr Virginija Vitkienė, international art and science project manager and curator of exhibitions, has...

By 17.7% more tourists accommodated in Q3

In Q3 2022, accommodation establishments accommodated 1 million 385.3 thousand tourists, which is by...