We live in a world ruled by memory.
Elvyra: “When me and my husband arrived at Linksmakalnis, the soldiers were still there.
Elvyra: “When me and my husband arrived at Linksmakalnis, the soldiers were still there. After the restoration of independence, the town was passed on to the Ministry of Communications and Information; later to the Kaunas Radio Center, which leased the territory to the public limited liability company Statyba (Eng.: Construction). My husband had worked there. In Soviet times there was a KGB unit. There were many educated women living in Linksmakalnis and they had worked as translators - French, English. Encrypted international affairs. The military had named us as first occupants - there were about six of us, the first settlers. Nevertheless, they were very polite people ... I remember the day when we farewelled the soldiers and their leader from Linksmakalnis. That was in 1993 June 16, 1:45 p.m. Several Volga cars had stopped outside the gate. The military popped a bottle of champagne and tasted it. To toast their journey. That was an unforgettable day. As they passed through the gate, we were standing in the street. There were about eight of us. We didn‘t dare to enter any house. We had a suspicion that something might blow up. We did not feel safe and comfortable. At that time, it might have been safe in Lithuania, but elsewhere. Although, on the other hand, then, the era of banditry began. Soldiers had left it very clean, but Linksmakalnis looked gloomy. There were about 1000 of them and about 300 apartments. 75 families had stayed. They were scared. My husband would go to comfort them. I remember it well, every day from 4 pm until 9 pm he would spend time talking to them. They did talk about what happens now. It was mostly women that came to him. They were afraid that Lithuanian guards would beat and terrorize them. Some people did not even use light the first fall after the military departed. Imagine, you would go down Green Street – the windows are covered with planks, the lighting kept on for a short period of time. Unpleasant. Like in Chechnya. At that time, we were the only ones with a phone. If anyone got sick or in case of a fire, everyone would run to us. Little by little, they had left, now, only seven mixed families remained. Lithuanian wife with a Russian husband. There were periods when we had to live without heating. Only had electric heaters, while the meters couldn‘t sustain it. Only cold water running - on weekends we would go to bath in Kaunas. We were altruists, had to work without earning money while living poorly. I would never agree to it now. It seemed to be different back then. Now everything is for the sake of us, while we had never complained before. It was still long that we had waited for explosions. A sense of security came much later, maybe three or four years later, when more people came to the village and settled in the apartments. Intense work began, we forgot ... In 1996 – the first school in Linksmakalnis was opened – it had only five first-graders... ” (2019)Read more
Indrė Žakevičienė: The most memorable event for me was the commemoration of February 16 in 1989 in Santaka Stadium and the “analogue” of the Baltic Way 25 years ago in the Museum of War.
*Indrė Žakevičienė: *The most memorable event for me was the commemoration of February 16 in 1989 in Santaka Stadium and the “analogue” of the Baltic Way 25 years ago in the Museum of War. The vehicle that was bringing us to the Baltic Way got stuck somewhere halfway. The driver got nervous, turned around, brought us back to Kaunas and let us go; there was no chance to reach our destination in time on foot. Out of desperation, we went to the War Museum and found a group of like-minded people; we held hands in front of the Eternal Fire, people had a radio, we listened to the translation from the Baltic Way at full volume. (2014)Read more
Stasys: "Since I lived up the hill in the city, in Vaižgantas street, I used to go past the cemetery to work.
Stasys: "Since I lived up the hill in the city, in Vaižgantas street, I used to go past the cemetery to work. This one time, one red-cheeked guy said you can’t walk through here – go around. I say: “Why? How come?” He yelled back to me: “I’m telling you you can’t. Get out of here, it’s forbidden, there’s no path here!” I look past him and I see a crane, some construction workers – they were demolishing the monument "We Died for the Motherland". I felt really bad, I wanted to do something mischievous to them, but I couldn‘t... When I came to take a look at it in the evening, everything was wiped out, there were barely any footprints left of the monument." (2019)Read more
Dobrė: “The action was held in November 1941: at 6 pm we were lined up.
*Dobrė*: “The action was held in November 1941: at 6 pm we were lined up. Our line, where my aunt, my grandmother and I were standing, was checked only after dark. At the time, I was ill, covered in boils, and for that reason I looked very tired, and my grandmother as well. Only my aunt was able to work. A Jew officer came to us, he was a friend of my father, which is why he let us go to the „good side” and we were not condemned to die. Everyone was amazed; it was a gift from God to us.”Read more
„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“.Read more
Audronė: „Pilis dabar atrodo visai kitaip.
*Audronė:* „Pilis dabar atrodo visai kitaip. Nebuvo tokio bokšto. Tada buvo apvalus kuoras, aišku, labai jau apgriuvęs, ir likusi siena, kuri dabar uždengta. Nuo jos labai gerai matėsi kunigų seminarijos kiemas. Mes nusiimdavome nuo pamokų, bėgdavome į tą kuorą ir žiūrėdavome, kaip klierikai su sutanom žaidžia krepšinį. Dar eidavome per tiltą, į Skriaudžių gatvę, į šlaitą. Sėdi ant šlaito ir žiūri, kaip mokyklos kieme kūno kultūros pamokas kas nors atlieka...“ (2019)Read more
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)Read more
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.Read more
(Saulius Eduardas Pauliukonis, actor of Šiauliai Drama Theatre, former actor of Kaunas Pantomime troupe, who worked in Kaunas Drama Theatre with director J.
(Saulius Eduardas Pauliukonis, actor of Šiauliai Drama Theatre, former actor of Kaunas Pantomime troupe, who worked in Kaunas Drama Theatre with director J. Jurašas and in Kaunas Musical Theatre).Read more
Grafas: This photo hangs on a wall in my house.
*Grafas: *This photo hangs on a wall in my house. Interestingly, those who see it for the first time do not seem to understand what place and view it is. And this is the centre of Kaunas during the Soviet times, 1980. It is Janonio (Vienybės) Square and Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis Art Museum and War Museum. It is a view from an unusual angle, i.e. from the tower/roof of a building which was then a radio factory. The photo has was made by a professional and great expert of colours Juozas Polis. During Sąjūdis, he published several wonderful photo-albums about Lithuania. I got this photo from him as a present. Format: 60x50 cm.Read more
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)Read more
Lili Kristina Vaičekauskaitė-Čepauskienė (2014): Everyone on the same lion !
*Lili Kristina Vaičekauskaitė-Čepauskienė (2014):* Everyone on the same lion !Read more
SITES OF MEMORY1 Projects 114 12 Routes
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.Post your memory here