OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

OPEN ARCHIVES OF KAUNAS

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Kaunas Trade Union House


Gercas: "Basically, all amateur activities had to go through a selection process.

*Gercas:* "Basically, all amateur activities had to go through a selection process. There had to be songs in Russian and Lithuanian. Amateur activities were allowed, but I am almost completely sure that there were people infiltrated in them as well. Director Judelis Rondaris decided to create a drama in Jewish language (Yiddish) and he needed people who new Jewish (Yiddish). I could speak it quite well and I liked acting. The play was called “Shalom Aleichem”. We were envied by dancers and singers, because they wanted to sing and dance more. They met our drama with hostility, but residents of Kaunas liked it very much. Our audience was not only Jewish, but also Lithuanian and of mixed families. There are quite a few mixed families among us." (2018)

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Juozas Polis Kauno centras
1970 / 1990

Looking down from the Resurrection Church


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.

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zs2
1982

Žalgiris Stadium


Gintaras: Žalgiris Stadium was not only a place of sports events; people were also interested in the shows by stunt drivers from Czechoslovakia.

*Gintaras: *Žalgiris Stadium was not only a place of sports events; people were also interested in the shows by stunt drivers from Czechoslovakia. You can only imagine how running tracks looked after their performances. :) The Soviet government took interest not only in the health of the sportsmen, but sophisticated pastime of the audience as well: next to the stadium (and in a lot of other places in the city), there were glass pavilions with drink vending machines. Here people could chat and discuss episodes from the matches and their results. Fifty kopeks and a glass of cheap wine called rašalas (‘ink, a derogatory term for cheap, poor quality wine) would quickly relax not only the tongue but brain as well... This place to get drunk has been replaced by a Hesburger restaurant, and instead of the stadium, there is MOLAS Shopping Mall. :) (2014)

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Tadas Ivanauskas High School


Tadas Ivanauskas High School

Tadas Ivanauskas High School

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karininku
1930 / 1939

The Building of Kaunas Garrison Officers' Club


The first building of Garrison Officers' club during the Interwar period was in a two-storey building designed by an unknown architect at the corner of Laisvės Alėja and A.

The first building of Garrison Officers' club during the Interwar period was in a two-storey building designed by an unknown architect at the corner of Laisvės Alėja and A. Mickevičiaus Street (currently the premises of the Union of Political Prisoners and Deportees). When Kaunas became the temporary capital, it required new representative spaces that would allow the development of cultural conversations, so at the officer's initiative, the decision was made to build a new building for the Garrison Officers' Club. Exclusive people participated in the events that took place in the Building of Kaunas Garrison Officers' Club, and it reminded gatherings of bohemians, as they communicated as a separate community with its unique ideology and habits.

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5d3ffece976ef
 

Orbita


Robertas Antinis: Orbita was a superb club. It was special.

Robertas Antinis: Orbita was a superb club. It was special.

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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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Paradas 11 07 Janonio Vienybes a. Kaune apie 1950 m
 

Parade in Janonio (Vienybės) Square


Alvydas Vaitkevičius: I found this picture at booksellers next to Merkurijus without any inscriptions or signs...

*Alvydas Vaitkevičius: *I found this picture at booksellers next to Merkurijus without any inscriptions or signs...

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rsz 1tarnauskas ir tarnauskiene
1930 / 1940

"Versalis"


Liuda Riaukienė: “My grandparents Povilas and Vanda Tarnauskai were shareholders of Versalis company.

*Liuda Riaukienė*: “My grandparents Povilas and Vanda Tarnauskai were shareholders of Versalis company. They founded it with two more friends in 1930. Tarnauskas also worked in the kitchen as a chef, and Tarnauskienė was a cashier. In some sense, she was the face of the restaurant: her duty was to welcome everyone and smile to the guests. [...] The restaurant had a very large kitchen. The food was of very high quality. The wine would be provided from the wine cellar that was located at the corner of Laisvės Alėja and Maironio Street. My grandfather learned his culinary skills in Petrograd, where he went specifically for this purpose. There was no one else like him in Kaunas, who could organise such luxurious receptions and cook various birds, pheasants and so on. While he worked, there used to always be a porcelain decanter with krupnik or Lithuanian wine nearby: he used to sip it while cooking. If it wasn't for my grandfather's culinary skills, both of them would have been deported with the first trains, but as I have said, no one else could have organised receptions as he did. [...] Restaurant Versalis had its own orchestra, with a leader of Jewish origin, Jaša Kašinski. This restaurant was the only one in Kaunas with cabaret featured in its evening programme. Cabaret dances usually were dancers hired mostly from abroad (Germany, the First Czechoslovak Republic), also two Lithuanian girls, sisters Irena and Genutė Lyvaitės (when they worked at Versalis, they were both approximately 17 years-old). The girls used to dance on a round stage in the hall. The restaurant was frequented by high officials and artists. Theatre director Borisas Dauguvietis and his wife used to come here often as well. Count Jonas Benediktas Tiškevičius rented a room in Versalis hotel for quite a long time.

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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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tarnausku seima vienybes aikste
 

Family in front of War Museum


1 photographPovilas and Vanda Tarnauskai, shareholders of the restaurant Versalis, with their daughter at the War Museum .

1 photograph Povilas and Vanda Tarnauskai, shareholders of the restaurant Versalis, with their daughter at the War Museum . 4th decade. From the family archive of Ludza Riaukienė.

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IMG 3179
1996

"Paveikslinė" Picture Gallery


D.B.: Even though that for most residents of Kaunas, Picture Gallery seems as located in a Bermuda triangle, to me it has probably become a symbolic place, where I made the decision about my profession.

*D.B.:* Even though that for most residents of Kaunas, Picture Gallery seems as located in a Bermuda triangle, to me it has probably become a symbolic place, where I made the decision about my profession. My mother told me that she would bring me here quite often (I remember those visits like a mirage...), and supervisors, according to her, could not hide their surprise seeing a little girl exploring each item so thoroughly.

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All memories

SITES OF MEMORY

1 Projects 114 11 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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