Place of the performance: Terrace of Kaunas Cultural Centre, Vytauto pr. 79
It is a project of the Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022 programme “Memory Office”, organised together with Kaunas youth and the international Na de Dam Theatre.
The idea for this project was born in the Netherlands, at the Na de Dam Theatre in Amsterdam. For years, its authors have been engaging young people in meaningful conversations about what war means today and why we cannot forget what happened during and after the Second World War.
The idea behind the project is simple: young people meet witnesses of the Second World War and listen to their stories. They then discuss their impressions and the connections to the contemporary world and their experiences with each other and with professional theatre directors. The result is a collaborative work – a performance in public spaces in the city that engages the city’s inhabitants in a meaningful conversation about history.
The director of the performance is Saulė Sakalauskaitė, consulted by Jelle Zijlstra (Netherlands).
The performance will be held in Lithuanian.
A letter to the Holocaust survivor Fruma and the second-generation Holocaust survivor Bella
I’ve heard the idea that a person who doesn’t know his past is like a child – inexperienced, unwise. I believe that a person must learn the history of his ancestors so that it does not happen again. To hear the story of your life from your lips was something indescribable in words. The mind refuses to accept it as truth, but at the same time, you realize that it is true, that there is a lot of evidence in museums, in sources, in books. Reading a book and listening to your story are two different things. In a book, although you experience everything, you do not see the emotions of the survivor. So, if I put myself in your shoes, I doubt whether I would be able to endure everything, whether I would be so strong when dear people are dying all around me, when you must fight for your life. The fact that you have gone through all this, and that people have come your way to help you is a miracle.
Am I afraid of war? Darkness enters the city and ruins life, ruins a carefree and colorful childhood – forces you to grow up, to fight for your life and the lives of your loved ones. Yes, I can admit that I am afraid of war.
I would like to wish you nothing but strength and reconciliation with your experiences and losses. I support you and I hope that the wounds will heal and that you will not have to go through this again and again.
Gabrielė, 16 years old
Kaunas Cultural Centre (Kęstučio g. 1)