On 23 January, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Nations opened the exhibition titled “Reflections in the Shattered Mirror” at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York. The exhibition is dedicated to the history of the Jews of Lithuania and is held to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania.
In her opening address, Ambassador Audra Plepytė, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Nations, reminded the audience of the important role of the Vilna Gaon and other prolific Litvaks as well as their contribution to Lithuanian and global culture and heritage. The ambassador also pointed out that Lithuania has never been the same after the tragedy of Holocaust: “Our history obliges us to protect, study and gain a better understanding of the surviving Jewish legacy. To protect and to study means to grasp the scale of the Holocaust and losses brought about by this tragedy.
The exhibition “Reflections in the Shattered Mirror” presents the printed and manuscript Judaica legacy kept at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. Dr. Lara Lempertienė, exhibition’s curator and Head of the Judaica Research Centre at the National Library, gave a comprehensive presentation of the exhibition and the items exhibited. “The exposition aims to present the rich and multi-faceted life of the communities of Lithuania in general and those of the Jews of Vilnius during the inter-war period, touching upon their welfare and health care system, educational institutions, arts, science and literature and the important place that these communities have in the international context of Jewish culture,” said the curator of the exhibition.
Later in the evening, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Nations hosted a discussion in which Dr. L. Lempertienė gave a lecture titled “Will We Ever Meet? Our Relationship with Lithuania’s Jewish Past”.
These are among the first events marking the start of the Year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania in foreign countries.