A unique museum will be created at Varlaukis railway station

On 11 August, a working group meeting was held in the building of the former Varlaukis railway station in Lybiškiai to discuss ideas for a future museum.


The idea of creating a museum in a unique place, the former Varlaukis railway station, was born several years ago. Skirmantas Mockevičius, the Mayor of Jurbarkas Municipality, set up a working group to generate and discuss ideas.

The Varlaukis railway station building in Lybiškiai started its story in 1933, in post-war Lithuania. When the Soviet occupation began, the railway station in Varlaukis was used to send the inhabitants of the local and surrounding regions to exile in cattle wagons. Edvardas Strončikas, a member of the Board of the Lithuanian Union of Political Prisoners and Deportees, told that in March of 1949, his mother, with Edvardas in her arms, who was only 10 months old at the time, was sent to exile from this station.

During the working meeting, the Mayor of Jurbarkas Municipality Skirmantas Mockevičius presented the themes of the future museum: deportations, resistance fights in the district of Jurbarkas, and fates of local partisans, the theme of “wolf’s children / Wolfskinder”. The latter theme is particularly relevant to the Jurbarkas region, as there were many minor German orphans in the post-war period, who came from East Prussia in search of food and a chance to survive.

Irina Pažereckienė, the chairperson of the Jurbarkas branch of the LPKTS, shared her thoughts on the exhibits that had been collected and could be used in the future in this museum. Ramunė Driaučiūnaitė, Senior Adviser for Museum Activities of the LGGRTC, was pleased that the initiative for this museum came from the local community. She assured that Lithuanian museums lent and shared exhibits and that the most important thing when creating a museum was to have a concept – what kind of exhibitions and displays should be created.

Ingrida Vilkienė, a coordinator of the International Commission’s education programmes, suggested that one of the museum’s expositions should tell the history of Varlaukis railway station from its construction in 1933 until the restoration of Lithuania’s Independence.

The participants of the meeting inspected the premises of the whole building, and discussed the creation of an educational route, as nearby, in the Šimkaičiai forest, there was a bunker and headquarters of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Council of the Lithuanian Freedom Movement, General Jonas Žemaitis.

Mayor Skirmantas Mockevičius, who initiated the meeting and chaired the meeting on the creation of the museum, said that although the building of the railway station is empty and no longer fulfills its function, the community of Lybiškiai maintained the building and had a vision that Lybiškiai can become a place of learning about the history of the town.


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