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Daily Archives: June 28, 2012

Random Lithuania pictures

Random photos from the streets of Kaunas and Vilnius.

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Lithuanian Flag (Mc Donalds in the distance

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They are so happy to start getting big concerts in Lithuania

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A lot of really bad hair dye jobs. So many bad reds, pinks, and orange hair

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I liked this “chill bar” check out the roads, very typical

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This is a Karaite restaurant with a “Drive through” There are not many Kariaites in the world, they have their own cuisine. This restaurant had the best soup I have ever had in my life. Served in a brown rye bread bowl.

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Sitting on the toilet, I have no idea what it says

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Kairaite restaurant

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Our tour bus pulls up to the restaurant and then this helicopter out of nowhere arrives, picks up some guy then takes off

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Old Town Kaunas

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Old Town Kaunas

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Old Town Kaunas, the Soviets didn’t take care of churches or temples very well

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Old Town Kaunas

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Old Town Kaunas, very typical street

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I liked the barrel look of this bar

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Not just a happy face, a sundial

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Overlooking Old Town Kaunas

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Part of the group at the Kaunas Archives

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My obsession with doors continues

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Old Town Kaunas

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Old Town Kaunas

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Freedom Avenue had many shops and restaurants. It made for a great Kaunas jog in the morning

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Beautiful church at the end of Freedom street. Unfortunately, not very cared for during soviet times

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Loved this store front

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Great storefront for this tavern

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Evening walk in Vilnius (taken around 10:30 at night)

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forget the Euro… basketball is big in Lithuania

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Sunset stroll in Vilnius

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Outside the remaining temple in Vilnius

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Vilnius

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Pats Run tshirt in front of a Soviet landmark, funny

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Everything Euro 2012

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Temple in Vilnius, we went there for Shabbot services on Saturday, beautiful inside. We sat in the women’s gallery

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beautiful interior in this coffee/chocolate shop in Old Town Vilnius

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Restaurant we ate at in Old Town Vilnius

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Old Town Vilnius

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Kazamier church in Old town Vilnius, across from our hotel.

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loved this sculpture on German St.

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signage!

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Our luggage cart at the airport

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local art school

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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in design, Lithuania, Travel, Uncategorized

 

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Soviet designer

I think the easiest job would have been a designer during Soviet times. You had 3 choices of paint, yellow, yellow/orange, and brown. If paint was available the choices were easy. You could tell your client that these colors give you a very “national look” lol.

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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in design, Lithuania, Travel, Uncategorized

 

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Just met an angel

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caretaker of the synagogue

We just met an angel. Mr. Lludvikas was only 5 when the Nazis came to Ziezmariai. He and his mother would disguise themselves as beggars and smuggle food to the Jews hiding in the forest. Fast forward to today, by himself, he takes care of the only remaining wooden synagogue in Lithuania dating back to 1780. He defines the Yad Vashem title “righteous gentile”. I have video of him as well as pictures. There is one of where the mezuzah was located. Wooden synagogues were banned after a certain date because they would catch fire.

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exterior of synagogue

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where the light hung over where they read torah

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the women’s gallery above

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former location of the mezzuzh

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last wooden sysnogogue in Lithuania

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Sugihara, “diplomat for life”

In November 1939, Chiune Sugihara opened the Japanese Consulate in Kaunas. His official job was to collect information about the situation in Lithuania and neighboring countries. In September 1939, the second ww broke out as Germany annexed Poland. As a result, 12,000 Polish Jews found themselves in Lithuania which was still an independent country at that time. Looking for safer places to live, Jews tried to get visas to foreign countries. Reaching Japan through the Soviet union was the only way to survive for these war refugees. Jan Zwartendijk, Dutch consulate to Lithuania issued over 2300 visas to the Dutch island of CuraƧao. Hundreds of refugees addressed the Japanese consulate with requests to issue them transit to Japan.

Japanese govt. was neutral to Jewish issues. After the occupation of Lithuania, the Soviets ordered to close all foreign offices in Kaunas. Sugihara had to make a decision based on his own principles. He decided to issue as many visas as possible. He issues 2,193 hand written visas while working 18 hrs per day in the Japanese consulate. He signed them till the moment his train left for Germany passing them through the window. It is thought that 6,000 lives were saved. Many of these people lived in Shanghai after the war.

In 1984, Yad Vashem granted Sugihara the honor of “righteous among the nations” for his 1940 activities in Kaunas. He passed in 1986.

What a brave soul.

We saw a short Japanese video with English and Hebrew translation. Our guide Simon runs the museum.

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Our guide Simon Davidovich runs the Sugihara museum, he took us on our roots tour

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