Saturday, June 21, 2014

Vilna Ghetto

Flats surrounding common courtyard is typical housing, with many people per flat.

Commemoration of victims of Vilna Ghetto

Restoration of Yiddish sign for shop over another courtyard entrance.

Dr. Shabad, treated and aided the poor during a time of many contagious diseases in the ghetto 150 years ago. Children lined up for a glass of milk each morning.
Dr. Shabad is the prototype for a popular cartoon Dr. Ow-it-hurts.

Kovno and Vilna are connected by the Neris River. Kedainai is 60 miles north of Kovno.

Charming intersection of 7 streets in little ghetto, the older ghetto, near the site of the old synagogue and the University, founded in 1579 by Jesuits and still thriving. Regina said it was founded by Count Radzivil (who's descendent married Jackie Kennedy's sister and derived his wealth from extensive land ownership that included Keidan) but Simon said Jesuits. 

Note the painting matches the view.

The guides are remarkable as they all have been active scholars and activists. This is the wonderful Regina. she is one of the people I was advised to meet. I'm so glad I did. Regina is incredibly well read and practically a Gaon herself. Regina is the contact who translated and transcribed names from the Keidan cemetary where my great-grandparents are buried.
The other guides are also incredibly knowledgeable and thoughtful. One sought out to speak to every Holocaust survivor he found and another literally wrote the book on  Vilnius history.

Wedding season!  It was so lovely to see weddings celebrated in public places.

Symphony hall on right is where child prodigy Jascha Heifetz first performed at age 8. At 4, his playing was so beautiful that people would sit outside his small house in the poorest part of town and listen to him practice.

Building of flats owned by philanthropist who supported the house for needy Jews from the turn of the century.

These bridges were common. Several survived.

Outdoor art gallery celebrating Litvak writers and artists.

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