OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

Karo muziejuje 1 1
1921 / 1936

Museum of War


Alvydas Vaitkevičius: I cannot stop myself from sharing certain interesting pages with the memories about our old War Museum.

*Alvydas Vaitkevičius: *I cannot stop myself from sharing certain interesting pages with the memories about our old War Museum. I found this with my family in a wonderful book by Jonas Dovydaitis “Žmogaus sparnai” (1971) dedicated to the birth and development of Lithuanian aviation and to the famous aviation designer Bronius Oškinis. These are his first impressions about visiting the War Museum provided in these pages.

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32007
1997

Vytautas Magnus University


Greta: To me, VMU equals study years.

*Greta:* To me, VMU equals study years. When I was still at school, I dreamed of studying in Vilnius, but VMU has been re-established for just several years, and it was so tempting, since it had a new study programme, and it was a completely new university without any Soviet traditions, full of promise that things here would be different, Western.:)  During the admission, Liucija Baškauskaitė (!) spoke to me (besides entrance exams, there was also an interview about motivation). Later lectures were delivered by a famous anthropology professor Arvydas Žygas (whose then incomprehensible yet enchanting lectures I started attending while still at school). There was also now-legendary Gintaras Beresnevičius (there was a rumour about him that he feared audiences, because he seemed shy and confused), an English teacher from Los Angeles, Amanda, a strict Frenchwoman Miriam (both connected to Kaunas by temporary romantic ties) and many others. Now I think, that there has been this promise of freedom in the air, the feeling that I have been missing for all my years in school. Since the number of students was ten times smaller, everyone knew one another or at least had seen one another before. Lectures were attended by people of different specialities and courses, so you could feel like a part of the community. It is no wonder that if you meet a person today from these times, even though you have not interacted with him or her, you feel the sense of kinship and this can be confirmed by all graduates from the first years.

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3. Solveiga Lukminaite. Kauno Laisves al. fontanas 1996 m. vasara
1994 / 1998

Fountain in Laisvės Ave


Solveiga Lukminaitė: My memories related to Laisvės alėja (Avenue) are only positive ones.

*Solveiga Lukminaitė: *My memories related to Laisvės alėja (Avenue) are only positive ones. It is the main central street of Kaunas, popular not only among its residents, but its guests as well. In my opinion, the fountain at Laisvės Avenue is the main symbol of the city. At the same time, it is its central point, a popular place for meetings and dates to start off. This place has remained important for me since an early childhood. Back them, I would go there often with my parents on weekends, and, of course, stand in front the fountain for a while to enjoy the spray of water during the heat, or look at a Christmas tree around the Christmas time. We would often take photos in front of the fountain. I would usually be the main character captured in these photos, of course. Back then, photographers would stand next to the fountain with big toys and invite to have your photo taken for a small fee. It was a great attraction. So, I still have more than one photo from my childhood with a giant toy next to the fountain in Laisvės Avenue. Even now, while I still study, the fountain is an important place where I come almost every day. It is a place, which I cross going to my classes almost daily, also it is a place where I meet my friends. (2015)

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baptistu
1991

Baptist Church


Pastor Vladimiras Sereda: "/.../ In 1980, I came to Lithuania with my wife after our wedding. As people of faith, we were looking for some community.

*Pastor Vladimiras Sereda:* "/.../ In 1980, I came to Lithuania with my wife after our wedding. As people of faith, we were looking for some community. At first, we used to go to Vilnius, because there was a community of the Seventh Day Baptist Church. Later someone told us that there were several sisters in Kaunas, who gathered to pray. They used to gather in the house No. 23 in Sodų Street. When we went there, we found four or five sisters, their age was around 70. They were very happy, when young people arrived. The next Sunday, I was already preaching something from the God’s Word, and this was actually when my spiritual service started. I became the leader of this little group. /.../ The Soviet government had overtaken [the church building] and turned it into a club, and when it could no longer be used as a club, into a salt warehouse. In 1988, we found the church with bricked up windows, broken roof, full of salt and garbage. We decided to ask for permission to use the building and on 20 December 1988, we received a document allowing it. Reconstruction was a difficult process: as it was characteristic to those times, it was difficult to purchase building materials. We had to look for people who could help.  But with the Lord’s help, on 26 July 1991, the house of prayer opened its doors to the community and remained open ever since. (2014)

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Arteritorija vidus spalvota
 

What place is this?


Riddle for our website visitors:What place is this?

*Riddle for our website visitors:*

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Oakwood Park


Memories about Oakwood Park by people of Kaunas.

Memories about Oakwood Park by people of Kaunas.

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ka168
1945 / 1998

Cinema in Šančiai


Gintaras Vitulskis: After the war, when the wooden cinema Lyra (Lyre) burned to the ground, and Taika (Peace) cinema theatre had not been built yet, the Methodist church was nationalized and turned into a cinema theatre.

*Gintaras Vitulskis: *After the war, when the wooden cinema Lyra (Lyre) burned to the ground, and Taika (Peace) cinema theatre had not been built yet, the Methodist church was nationalized and turned into a cinema theatre. I remember watching Tarzan with Johnny Weissmuller as the lead in this very cinema. During the Soviet times, the cinema was turned into one of the weapons of propaganda, but we would still see some worldwide masterpieces created abroad like Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus with Kirk Douglas or Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor. The queues were massive.

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Namai Laisves alejoje
 

A house in Laisvės Alėja


Alvydas Vaitkevičius: I am sending several photos by a famous photographer from the Soviet times, Stanislovas Lukošius which he gave me before he passed away.

*Alvydas Vaitkevičius: *I am sending several photos by a famous photographer from the Soviet times, Stanislovas Lukošius which he gave me before he passed away. Photos feature explanations by Stanislovas Lukošius himself. He had a phenomenal memory and knew about the past of Kaunas in great detail. He wrote the texts himself, even though he was almost blind, so they are not easy to read... Almost 30 years ago, I got an opportunity to speak with him at his home. At that time, he had been blind for maybe 10 years and could not manage the archive of his photos and negatives without help. My son, who was then around 12 helped him at that time. Lukošius was a great patriot of Lithuania and greatly influenced my son's attitude towards history. Lukošius gave these and other photos to my son, but these are of the best quality. Maybe later I will find more... (2014)

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...
 

Ramybės (Serenity) Park


Asija: ”A protest happened in Ramybės (Serenity) Park, after which it was decided to remove the cemetery located in the park.

*Asija*: ”A protest happened in Ramybės (Serenity) Park, after which it was decided to remove the cemetery located in the park. Three schools were located near the cemetery and we (students at the time) saw everything from very close. Male teenagers could not miss such an event. They scavenged graves and brought found bones into the classroom in order to scare girls. Braver ones went deeper into the graves and showed everyone crosses or rings they had managed to find. This was a most horrifying period of Kaunas history. It united us with the Lithuanians.” (2017)

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vyrai baltais2
 

Siūlų street


Fruma: "We were hiding in Petrašiūnai, a place that was not considered to be part of the city.

*Fruma*: "We were hiding in Petrašiūnai, a place that was not considered to be part of the city. We once came up with an idea to go back home. We were going from Aukštieji Šančiai down Siūlų Street towards the city centre, my father and brother were recognized by three Hiwis, and therefore were arrested and taken to an unknown location. My mother insisted that I run as far as possible. At home she asked the neighbours to hurry and follow the Hiwis to see where my father and brother were taken to. I remember my neighbour handing mother her new-born daughter and then immediately running downstairs."

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KPG mama
 

Picture Gallery


Liucija: I remember, when my friend and I, we would go to the Picture Gallery to visit the exhibitions.

*Liucija: *I remember, when my friend and I, we would go to the Picture Gallery to visit the exhibitions. Back in those days, we liked ceramic works very much. We used to buy large vases and bring tiny ones from other republics for ourselves or to give to our friends. Back in those times, food to nourish our souls on weekends were only exhibition halls or theatre. We would bring our children there as well. When the times changed and all sorts of events and travelling abroad became available, we visit picture gallery on a very rare basis. (2015)* *

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1985

A yard in Dainava district


Portraits of friends (1985) captured in the yards of Dainava microdistrict

Portraits of friends (1985) captured in the yards of Dainava microdistrict

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All memories

SITES OF MEMORY

1 Projects 93 9 Routes
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Our memory is framed by spatial reference points: places, sites, buildings, and streets give us our bearings and enable us to anchor and order our memories. So, the material alteration of these places can lead to the substantial modification of our memories, and even their disappearance.
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