Unveiling of the monument to the local Jewish community and the Road of Memory in Darbėnai

On July 28, an event took place in Darbėnai (Kretinga district) – the unveiling ceremony of the monument to the Jewish community and the Road of Memory to the site of destruction of Darbėnai‘s Jews.

On July 28, a new monument decorated the central street in Darbėnai – a metal apple tree with metal apples dedicated to the Jews who cherished the well-being of Darbėnai. The largest metal apple was dedicated to David Wolfson, who was born in Darbenai and became a prominent figure of Zionism and the author of the Israeli flag. Next to the monument to the famous Jews of Darbėnai, you will find a plaque with 14 Lithuanian names who saved Jews during the Holocaust. The monument in Darbėnai was established on the initiative of a coordinator of the Tolerance Education Center, teacher Edita Gliožerienė and with the support of the Jakovas Bunka Charity and Sponsorship Fund.

The monument unveiling was honored by the Mayor of Kretinga district Antanas Kalnius, Israeli Ambassador to Lithuania Yossef Levy, Chairman of the Lithuanian Jewish community Faina Kukliansky, Director of the Jakov Bunka Charity and Sponsorship Fund Eugenijus Bunka, representatives of Klaipeda and Palanga Jewish communities, and the local community.

Following the opening of the monument, the procession of the Road of Memory started marching towards the outskirts of Darbėnai, where 140 Jews were killed at the end of June of 1941. The participants put memorial stones at the Holocaust Memorial.

After the Road of Memory in Darbėnai, a new book “The Jews of Darbėnai” was presented at the Kretinga Museum. The publication of the book was inspired by the interest of Edita Gliožerienė, a teacher from Darbėnai Gymnasium, in the local Jews. The teacher’s acquaintance with the history of Darbėnai‘s Jews began with the ethnographic summer camps, which were encouraged by Eugenijus Bunka from Plungė. During the ethnographic camps, the students and their teacher Edita developed a street plan of the town, indicating houses and businesses belonging to Lithuanians and Jews until the beginning of the Holocaust in 1941. Currently, this plan is displayed in the center of the town and is available to residents and visitors. Those ethnographic camps lead to a more profound interest in the history of the local Jews. Edita Gliožerienė’s acquaintance with a historian from the USA prof. Erik Goldstein determined that the stories and information about the Jewish community‘s life in Darbenai would become a book published in Lithuanian and English. Seven authors contributed to this book. It was published by the Jakovas Bunka Charity and Sponsorship Fund.

   Moments of the event: