A touch upon history in the old Jewish cemetery in Vilkaviškis

Vaida Kriščiūnienė, a coordinator of the Tolerance education center at Salomėja Nėris middle school in Vilkaviškis, and her pupils cleaned and maintained the old Jewish cemetery in Vilkaviškis. This is a traditional civic campaign of kindness, called “Light a candle for All Souls day”.

Seventh-graders raked leaves, hoed the soil and lit candles. In this way, all the deceased were honoured by a minute of silence and concentration. According to Vaida Kriščiūnienė, a teacher who engages students in the cleaning and handling of cemeteries every year, “it is a joint activity which provides an opportunity to know and preserve the memory of the Jewish people buried there. At the same time it was an opportunity to reflect on the genocide of this people in the 20th century. These memorial sites have to be maintained in order to properly represent the history of the Jewish people in our area. Once, a large Jewish community in Vilkaviškis owned shops, worked as doctors, lawyers, engineers and formed an integral part of Lithuania.”