OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

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Didysis ir mažasis ąžuolynas


Lolita: "Gimiau ir augau Kauko alėjoje (kai gimiau, ji tuo metu dar vadinosi S.

*Lolita:* "Gimiau ir augau Kauko alėjoje (kai gimiau, ji tuo metu dar vadinosi S. Šimkaus alėja). Ąžuolynas yra vienas miesto miškas, o šalia gyvenantiems buvo aktualu jį konkretinti. Taigi, tarp K. Petrausko, Parodos ir Radastų gatvių esančią dalį, kur XX a. 9 dešimtmetyje dar buvo atrakcionai, vadinome Mažuoju Ąžuolynu,  arba Ąžuolynėliu, o dalį nuo K. Petrausko g. Zoologijos sodo link - Didžiuoju Ąžuolynu.  Į Zoologijos sodą eidavome pėsčiomis. Ąžuolyne - įspūdingiausia, be abejo, buvo stumbro skulptūra, bet būdama maža labai mėgau ir L. Striogos "Poilsį", kurį vadinau "hipopo" - matyt, vaikui kažkuo priminė begemotą." (2019 m.)

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pasivaiksciojimai2
 

Laisvės Ave.


Asija: “In the evenings, Laisvės Avenue was full of people.

*Asija*: “In the evenings, Laisvės Avenue was full of people. Families would go for a walk. It was a magnificent tradition. Lithuanian, Jewish and Russian families were walking in the avenue. The oldest members of the family would be walking in front of everyone else; parents following them and lastly a bunch of children were running after them. Slowly, constantly greeting each other, people passed through Laisvės Avenue and returned home. Women had to have a small handbag and a hat.” (2017).

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Rotušės aikštė


Audronė: ,,Gyvenau ir ligi šiol gyvenu name, kuriame yra ,,Medžiotojų užeigos“ restoranas.

*Audronė*: ,,Gyvenau ir ligi šiol gyvenu name, kuriame yra ,,Medžiotojų užeigos“ restoranas. Papuoliau į visai kitą aplinką. Iki 1953 m. augau Žaliakalnyje, ten – žalia, gražu, o čia papuoliau tiesiai ant bruko. Bet žinot, kaip vaikui – labai greitai viskas pasikeitė. Kiemai – pilni vaikų, butai buvo komunaliniai, tai tų šeimų – daug, vaikų – daug; nesudarė man jokio didelio skirtumo. Tik tas, kad Nemunas šalia. Buvo daug draugų, daug šurmulio. Kai paskaičiuoju, kažkur apie trisdešimt kieme. O dabar nė vieno nėra. Žaidimai būdavo labai šaunūs: aišku, policininkai ir vagys – ir apimdavo visą pusę senamiesčio: pilį; eidavom nuo vieno turgaus iki kito turgaus. Senamiesty jų buvo trys: vienas, kur dabar prie Pilies autobusų aikštelė, stotis; kitas, žuvies turgus skvere – ten, kur dabar pastatyti namai; ir trečiasis – Gertrūdos ir Gimnazijos gatvių kampe. Iki dabar Rotušė pakeitė savo veidą tris kartus. Pirmiausia buvo smėlėta didelė aikštė. Priešais Jėzuitų gimnaziją buvo slėptuvės, turbūt likusios nuo Pirmo pasaulinio karo. Slėptuvės ir purvina, medžiais apsodinta aikštė. Vėliau dalį medžių panaikino, dalį – pasodino ir padarė vidury didžiulę klombą, pačioje Rotušės aikštės viduryje. Į ją takai ėjo nuo kiekvieno kampo - tokia žvaigždės forma. Buvo suoliukai, aišku, buvo ir pavėsio. Po to išklojo šitą grindinį. Tai – jau trečias Rotušės vaizdas. Pati Rotušės aikštė buvo, galima sakyti, ketvirtas turgus. Aikštėje buvo priemiestinė autobusų stotis, aplinkui visur stodavo autobusai. Ties kiekvienu kampu stovėjo po gazirovkės vežimėlį, kaip mes sakydavome. Prekyba vykdavo iš rankų. Kur dabar stovi Maironio paminklas, buvo benzino kolonėlė. Maironio name, pirmame aukšte, buvo vaikų darželis. Aš jo nelankiau, bet daug mano klasiokų lankė.

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Salia Vytauto paminklo
2003 / 2004

Miesto Sodas (City Garden)


Justė: Miesto Sodas always stirs a little rebel in me.

*Justė:* Miesto Sodas always stirs a little rebel in me.

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Juozas Naujalis Music Gymnasium


Raimonda Pauzienė (51): [In Juozas Naujalis Music School] everyone was trained to be a musician.

*Raimonda Pauzienė (51):* [In Juozas Naujalis Music School] everyone was trained to be a musician. Only several people would not later apply for studies in the conservatory. There was this one girl in my class who strained her arm and went to a different school. Students from other schools used to say that they do not know what to do after studies, but for us it was all clear. Everyone knew that children from Naujalis or Čiurlionis schools were different. They had a different motivation, different extracurriculars, motivation to go to the theatre and concerts. Later they also tried to enrol their children in unconventional schools, because they understood how important like-minded people and friends were. Music changes a person. /.../ [At school], the focus was on music. A year before graduating from school, we basically completed all subjects of general education and practiced for musical exams only. We used to spend most of the time with the teacher of our speciality. I remember my teacher as a specialist with fondness, even though it was a difficult [experience].  However, when I communicate with my pupils, I try to behave in a completely different manner. /.../ [Then] the rules were very strict... You could get a warning for not bringing a handkerchief [to school], for crying during the lectures. My teacher was very strict. And teacher Kumpikienė has remained the same to this day. Of course, now I am thankful for everything, even though sometimes certain things went over the top. If you failed to bring a hair pin or a handkerchief, you got a warning. Your nose was runny, you were crying, because you pitied yourself, since you were embarrassed for not being able to do something, [you got] a warning. /.../ For a child, this school was really too strict. Relationship with teachers was not friendly. Even though our classroom tutor was very gentle. She was a teacher of Lithuanian language, she would bring us to camp by some lake. And others... You could not speak with teachers like you can now. It seems that children can speak to them more.

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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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Vasario 16 g. 1946 metu potvynis
1946

Flood in 1946


Lili Kristina Vaičekauskaitė-Čepauskienė: The flood of 1946 in Kaunas was a very strong one.

*Lili Kristina Vaičekauskaitė-Čepauskienė:* The flood of 1946 in Kaunas was a very strong one. The picture shows my mother and me on an ice flow at the corner of Vasario 16-osios and K. Donelaičio streets. After that year, there were no more floods like that.

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Vilijampole 5
 

Vilijampolė


Jolita: My grandparents lived "on the hill", in Vilijampolė.

*Jolita*: My grandparents lived "on the hill", in Vilijampolė. I used to visit them with my parents at first and later I went there alone. I used to take a trolleybus from the 6th Fort to get to Kaunas Castle, and then waited for bus No 4 to get to Kaunas Clinical Hospital; buses on this route drove more often too. If I'm not mistaken, it was also possible to get to my grandmother‘s Josvainių bus stop by taking bus No. 33 or No. 24. I do not remember the final destination of those routes, but it was somewhere "in the middle of nowhere"; the buses on these routes rode very rarely too. Once we rode bus No. 33 and got off at the Milikoniai store. For me it was like the end of the world - the last place for people to be found. There used to be an ice cream kiosk at the bus station of Kaunas Castle and I would often not buy a ticket for 4 kopecks so I could save some money for an ice cream. A cup of dairy ice cream cost 11 kopecks, sour cream ice cream cost 15 and fatty ice cream cost 19 kopecks. I never bought the latter though, since it had too much fat and it was too expensive. For some reason, the Castle ice cream kiosk often sold sorbets, which cost 6 kopeck. This kind of ice cream was the most desirable for us, since it was delicious and hard to find. After some time, I started to get off the bus more and more ahead of my stop and I would walk by foot through Vilijampolė and then up the hill. It is hard to believe it, but my entire childhood I spent with my relatives in Vilijampolė; I never heard the word "Jew" from them (or at least I do not recall), and most certainly no one ever mentioned the word "ghetto". I was stunned, when after a long time I saw the name "Slabotkė" on an American website and realized that all those years I had been riding the bus through the little streets of the ghetto. However, there was something in that district that fascinated me and it still does. My grandmother died in 1983. The family drifted apart. Šilainiai district started to rise. My childhood ended and so did my time in Vilijampolė. For thirty years, the orange bridge over the river Neris was the border of Kaunas for me. I realized that it might be time for me to cross it, especially when I started to get dreams about all those places I walked through as a child. I took a walk in the down side of Vilijampolė, and then I got to the Child Care service at the hillside. That building, with its massive gray walls, used to be both fascinating and intimidating for me as a child. I walked up the hill. Many places have changed, except for the territory of the fort on Pylimo Street in front of my grandmother's house; which was untouched and belonged to no one. Just like my grandma’s house did not belong to me anymore. Just like the pictures that I did not care for as a child and did not bother taking them as I left. (2017)

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Jėzuitų gimnazija


Audronė: „Pradėjau lankyti devintą vidurinę Senamiestyje.

*Audronė*: „Pradėjau lankyti devintą vidurinę Senamiestyje. Paskui ją pervadino į Adomo Mickevičiaus, o dabar tai jau Jėzuitų gimnazija. Dabartinėje Jėzuitų bažnyčioje buvo sporto salė. Ilgai stovėjo nenaudojama, paskui padarė sporto salę. O vienuolyne buvo mokytojų seminarija, kol į Marijampolę neiškėlė. Ten mokėsi studentai. Paskui padarė proftechninę mokyklą. Kavinės nė vienos nebuvo. Dabar aplinkui – vien kavinės, restoranai. Buvo knygynas prie Jakšto gatvės, gyvenami namai, kuro parduotuvė, maisto produktų parduotuvė. /.../ Maironio muziejuje buvo žaidimų aikštelė ir paties Maironio sodas. Su daug agrastų. Nuraškydavom dar žalius...“ (2019)

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Vilijampolė


„Ne kiek to baisiausio žmonijos istorijoj karo Tadas ir beprisimena – keli paveikslai, ir tie neaišku, ar paties prisiminimai, ar vėliau išgirsti žmonių pasakojimai, pavirtę prisiminimais, keli pablukę vaizdai: vienas iš Kauno, antras iš Vilniaus, trečiasis iš Veprių.

„Ne kiek to baisiausio žmonijos istorijoj karo Tadas ir beprisimena – keli paveikslai, ir tie neaišku, ar paties prisiminimai, ar vėliau išgirsti žmonių pasakojimai, pavirtę prisiminimais, keli pablukę vaizdai: vienas iš Kauno, antras iš Vilniaus, trečiasis iš Veprių. 1938 metais gimęs, trijų ketverių penkerių metų bamblys – kas gi tokio peliuko galvoj galėjo įstrigti? Ugnis? Sprogimas? Gaisrų pašvaistės? Ir vis dėlto šį tą prisimena: ant aukšto kalno – minia žmonių, visi tyli, visi žiūri į žemumą, į tolimą duobę, kurioje kažkas liepsnoja, virsta dūmais, bet neįžvelgsi kas (dabar Tadas jau žino: tai liepsnojo Kauno Slabados rajonas, vokiečių paverstas getu ir sudegintas, tame priemiesčio kampe glaudėsi ir jo tėvų namelis, o tie ant aukšto kalno stovintys žmonės, tos raudančios moterys – tai Slabados gyventojai, išvaryti iš savųjų gūžtų kaip stovi – visiems jiems teko viską pradėti nuo pradžios: ir butelius susirasti, ir baldelius susikalti, ir vėl iš naujo išmokti gyventi, mylėtis, daryti vaikus, o laikui bėgant ir vagiliauti, ir apgaudinėti), tik kruvina pašvaistė ant žmonių veidų, kruvinos kibirkštys raudančių moterų ašarose“.

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Judita zaidzia su nuotraukomis2
 

Vilijampolė


Judita: ”I had many photos in the ghetto house.

*Judita*: ”I had many photos in the ghetto house. They became toys when my parents would go to work and my little brothers to school. When being alone in the ghetto, I was mostly afraid that some man with a gun would come and shoot me down. That fear hasn’t disappeared up until this day, but now it is different…”

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Siegfried2. Is vaziuojancio traukinio 2
 

Railway station


Siegfried: “Just at the outskirts of Kaunas, I was dug up by locomotive firemen and picked up like some kitten.

*Siegfried:* “Just at the outskirts of Kaunas, I was dug up by locomotive firemen and picked up like some kitten. It was the spring of 1947, the weather was still cold. The men asked me in German: “How did you end up here?” I told them: “I want nach Litauen, Kowno, Brot holen. To Lithuania, Kaunas, bring bread back to my mother.” The train stopped in front of Nemunas and the railway bridge. The main said: “You would not cross this bridge. We would cross it, bring you over and leave you in Kaunas.” And that was what they did. I saw clean, neatly dressed people walking around. The city and the station were full. I thought to myself, that I was probably dead, because my mother told me that we were “close to our graves”, and if people died, both children and adults, they went straight to heaven.” And when in Kaunas I saw one Russian and then another one, I woke up from that dream. My new life had started. When I started writing a book, I told people and to myself that this has been my second homeland. I was in Lithuania for the second time.” (2018 m.)

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All memories

SITES OF MEMORY

1 Projects 103 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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