Ona Šimaitė. A Silent Heroine from Savičius Street

„An old lady with a limp and an accent, she is invisible to most. Certainly no one recognizes her as the warrior and revolutionary she was, and perhaps this is why she succeeded in a situation that demanded secrecy, courage, and disguise.“ – I’ve read a story about Ona Šimaitė told by Julija Šukys. The story, originally written inContinue reading “Ona Šimaitė. A Silent Heroine from Savičius Street”

Fania Lewando – The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook author

Fania Lewando used to say in provincial Vilnius in the 1930s that everyone can be a vegetarian once in a while. Now it surprises nobody, but looking back to interwar Jewish Vilne, it sounds challenging. A good meat dish was not only a necessary part of the daily diet of Jewish families, but also anContinue reading “Fania Lewando – The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook author”

Samuel Bak’s Vilnius

Samuel Bak’s relationship with Vilnius was a complex one, as complex as can only be experienced by a person who has lived through both paradise and hell here. Born in Polish Vilnius in 1933 into the family of Jonas Bakas, a Jewish dental technician, and his wife Mita, the lone child Samek was spoilt byContinue reading “Samuel Bak’s Vilnius”

Hermanas Perelsteinas. A story of proud survival

On June 14 Lithuania commemorates the Memorial Day of the Mass Deportations. That day in 1941 trains with tens of thousands of citizens of occupied Lithuania were deported to the Nort or Far East of the Soviet Union. On this day I always remember the story of a Jewish teenager, Hermanas Perelsteinas, who survived hisContinue reading “Hermanas Perelsteinas. A story of proud survival”

Rozalimas (Rozalye)

The whole 19th century a small town of Rozalimas (Rozalye) was in the worst position comparing to nearby Pakruojis (Pokroy) or Šeduva (Shadeve). However, at the end of the 19th century the town’s population increased (there were 549 people here, half of them were Jews). Like in any Jewish shtetl, a synagogue, a mikveh, aContinue reading “Rozalimas (Rozalye)”