Prenai/first night in Kaunas

25 Jun

POURING! Rain rain go away, it actually didn’t actually rain that much. Peggy says, “if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes”. We had a wonderful day in Prenai, Saralee’s roots tour. The three of us are sharing a guide/ driver as our roots tours are in the same area. We first stopped at the mass murder site in the woods of Prenai. Saralee had grandparents who lived/were murdered there. She had their address from their last correspondence. We stood in front of their last residence. Stopped at a local bookstore to get a postcard. I wandered around and found the Twilight series and one of Bennett’s favorite series Eragon. Lunch was nice because we got to order from a menu!!! I ordered a Greek salad that ended up not having lettuce. Kinda boring but i needed a non-carb meal. The big 3 course meals are lovely but too much food. We also ordered ( don’t laugh too hard) fried dark rye bread. It was an appetizer we saw walking past a bar. It was really tasty, how could it not be. My mom has potato pancakes, Simon had borscht. We went to the museum/cultural center. It was closed for renovations but they let us in. We learned about some Jewish families that used to live there. I think that 40% of the town were murdered. It was sad to only see one stone for all of them. There was a famous Jewish brewer in the town. He was well known as he exported his beer which was quite unusual. He was killed but his daughter was hidden and lived.

Checked in at Hotel Kaunas. It is the second largest city in Lithuania. Simon helped translate the documents that I got in Vilnius. I learned that my great great grandfather Leizer Libovski was an important well respected man. He was on the city board of electors. He owned his own house and made a good living. He net over 600 Russian rubles a year in 1888. (Tom Freeman can you figure out what that is in dollars today?)

Mom and I walked down the main avenue toward the cathedral church. It was sunny and beautiful. I hope my good weather karma holds out for tomorrow when we go to Jurbarkas and Seredzius where my great grandparents are from. We stopped for a beer, guess who had the beer. We thought about our fellow Litvak friends on their roots tours and how their experiences are going. Tomorrow, when we all are back together, there will be a nice evening of sharing.

I love that it is 10:30pm and it is still light outside!


Mass murder site at Prenai


This one’s for Bennett, he is now mad that I didn’t buy one for him.





Beer labels from the Jewish brewery


road trip to Prenai






LOL! If you get the humor in this let me know.


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4 responses to “Prenai/first night in Kaunas

  1. Tom Freeman

    June 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I had a hard time coming up with a good answer to your question. I found one reference that said that 1 ruble (in the period 1885-1894) was equal to $0.77 (in dollars at the same time). If that is correct then 600 Rubles in 1888 would be worth about $462 in 1888 dollars. Elsewhere I saw a reference that during 1840-1860, 1 Russian Ruble was worth about $3.26 in USD of the period, but the writer expressly says this is “unconfirmed.”

    So let’s treat those figures as creating a range, and assume that 1 Ruble in 1888 was worth something between $0.77 – $3.26, just for fun. So 600 Rubles at that time would be worth somewhere between $462 and $1956 in 19th century dollars. If you then apply an inflation conversion factor to see how much those figures, in 1888 dollars, would be worth in 2012 dollars, the answer from a pretty definitive source is that the range in 2012 dollars would be something between $11,268 to $47,707. I’m not sure how closely that conveys the real answer, but that is the best I can come up quickly. Not exactly Warren Buffett material, but if this was largely a subsistence economy, these figures suggest some affluence.

    • Beth Katz

      June 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      Tom, on another document it was noted he was wealthy.this one was for tax purposes. It also asked about projections. It noted he had One office and he was the only employee. This changes my mind about manufacturing to to distributing or exporting agraculture.

  2. Tom Freeman

    June 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Forgot to supply the reference to the inflation conversion factors. It is:

  3. Mimi

    June 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Towns looks lovely. That coconut dessert looked yummy..


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