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1 окт 2016 | 10:00

Portraits of Kaunas Jewish Ghetto Survivors during the Second World War in Lithuania at White Space Gallery

Великобритания (все районы)

23 September – 22 October
Theodor W. Adorno, a prominent figure in the culture of the western world, is quoted as asking how it is possible to compose music after Auschwitz. Antanas Sutkus, a master of art photography (born in the village of Kluoniskiai not far from Kaunas in 1939), learned about the mass killing of Jews by Nazis during World War Two from his grandparents. Being a Lithuanian himself, he intuitively felt bitterly opposed to the humiliation of man and the mass destruction of human life in his homeland. He had feelings of shame and guilt for what had been going on behind the Vilijampole ghetto gates and the 9th fort – then known as “Enterprise 1.005 –B” – between 1941 and 1944.
As far back as the time of Lithuania’s Grand Duke Gediminas, who laid the foundations of the Lithuanian state and who invited traders and artisans to come to Lithuania from various European states, the Jews were promised protection and support: “they will be safe and immune from my subjects’ unlawful claims”. During the following six hundred years the Jews took root in Lithuanian soil through their works and prayers, printing shops and synagogues, libraries and gymnasiums, songs and legends, as well as by that special Lithuanian – Jewish atmosphere common to larger and smaller towns accompanied by the peculiar cacophony of the Orient.
That vibrant branch of Lithuania’s history and culture was chopped off as 200,000 men, women, children and old folk were shot dead and thrown into pits prepared for them at forest edges, quarries and death camps. And as a paraphrase of T.W. Adorno’s words comes the question from the Lithuanian photo artist: “How is it possible to live after the 9th fort of Kaunas and the Paneriai forests?”

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