Kovno was very different 80 or 90 years ago from what Kaunas is today.
Back then, it was the provisional capital of Lithuania, a new country on the map that had declared its independence in 1918.
The economics was growing and many other factors were actually the same as they are in 2017. The streets were the same as today, a lot of the houses were the same, it was lively and full of people. But it was a different city. The landscape was different. The ambience was different. Music, theatre, cafes, private businesses and factories, schools and universities. Still here today but different.
Due to various circumstances, both local and global, it’s only now that we are starting to finally assemble the puzzle that was left after the
Second World War and the Holocaust and then frozen by the Soviet Occupation of the country. It took a couple of decades following the restoration of our independence to accept the history and to once again remind ourselves it cannot be repeated.
„The Litvak Landscape“ Map
The Litvak Landscape is, to start with, a map mixing different chapters and layers of the history of Kaunas. It connects people and their ideas, buildings and their residents, Litvaks and Lithuanians, the past and the present – and it’s also inviting to collaborate in the future.
An incredible amount of information, names, professions, deeds, dates and events, scattered around in books, archives, newspapers and webpages, were discovered when compiling the list of the stops in the route – and the process was heart-breaking, to say the least, at times.
It wasn’t possible to include everything that is out there, but the preparation definitely laid ground for a bigger project sometime in the future.
Correct things take time to happen and the time has already come. With this map, we are inviting you to visit Kaunas.
Come here, touch the history, meet the residents of today, shake hands, share ideas, point out what else can be done, and think about possible means to continue what was brutally destroyed more than 75 years ago.