Lithuania

Vilnius: In Search of Traces of the Jerusalem of Lithuania

Description: 

Mr. Sapozhnikov will discuss the complexities of translating a soon to be published English translation of a book that includes 23 pedestrian routes around the city of Vilnius and its suburbs tracing the often-tragic history of local Jewish community. These challenges are comparable to many of the issues librarians face when cataloging resources in multiple languages. Some of the challenges faced in creating this translation were the multitude of sources in a variety of languages: old documents, governmental archives, photographs, advertisements, ticket stubs, lithographic prints and architectural drawings. Relatively recently declassified Soviet archive documents, as well as the sizeable portion of the book that deals with the Holocaust in excruciating detail, placed additional psychological demands and responsibility on the translator. In addition, Vilnius has undergone several political changes throughout its history which often changed the official language. In order to be useful, it was important for this volume to strictly adhere to names used by the official language at a specific time in history.

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Abba Balosher's Library as a Model of Pre-War Lithuanian Institutions

Description: 

In pre-World War II Kaunas, Abba Balosher (1869-1944), an intellectual and a scholar, managed a private library and distributed books in eight languages. He kept contacts with many book dealers and publishing houses overseas which make his library unique and expendable. The spirit of Balosher’s library has matched the sense of the independent Lithuanian democratic society – intellectual and open-minded, not limited by languages and geographical borders.

Efforts were made to save Balosher’s library during the Nazi occupation. More than 9,000 volumes were sent to the National Library of Lithuania. However, the most valuable Hebrew books and manuscripts were prepared for transport to Germany, while the rest of Yiddish and Hebrew books were burned or sent to the paper mill. Until last year, the librarians at the National Library of Lithuanua and Balosher’s relatives were confident that all Jewish books from Balosher’s library were destroyed during the Nazi occupation. In 2017, the librarians at the National Library of Lithuania found a collection of Yiddish and Hebrew books in some storage facilities. The presentation will provide information about this finding and will also emphasize the attempts taken by the Lithuanian intellectuals to save the Jewish library.

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Lost and Found: Traces of Lithuanian Jewish Cultural Dialog

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In the middle of the 1930s in independent Lithuania, representatives of Lithuanian and Jewish intelligentsia and professionals began to develop mutual interest and initiated a number of common educational and cultural projects. This process was brutally terminated by the Holocaust, and its documentation and representations are rare and precious. This paper will present main tendencies of those intercultural contacts as they are seen through documents from Lithuania’s depositories.

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