Kaunas students’ work in the biggest Jewish cemetery

Students of Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) took up to 6 thousand photos of graves in the Žaliakalnis Old Jewish Cemetery. Mayor of Kaunas and Ambassador of Israel to Lithuania thanked the youth for initiative doing such a huge work and even called it historical.

The area of more than 8 hectares in Radvilėnai streets was under handling works for two and a half months by 12 students of VMU. The members of VMU Business Practice Centre joined to initiative of Kaunas City to revive the Old Jewish Cemetery and took more than 5,8 thousand photos of gravestones. They are going to be available virtually for public soon.

“the cemetery is a sacred place, which needs to be taken care of and cherished. I just don‘t understand why the city didn‘t take the initiative earlier. We will do everything to make this place represent peace and quietness of the dead where everyone could come, see and remember – to pay respect“,- said Kaunas Mayor Visvaldas Matijošaitis.

Amir Maimon, Ambassador of Israel to Lithuania said that VMU students‘ initiative was historical: “I feel that our relationship with Kaunas City and its officials is now not only work-related – we became friends during these two years I have been in Lithuania. The municipality did a lot of good things to save the Jewish history and legacy. I see that Jewish community is becoming more important for the people of Kaunas”.

In the eve of All Saints day the ambassador himself visited the cemetery and observed a great number of lighting candles. Amazed by that view he described it in one word – “respect“.

The photos of the gravestones made by the students of VMU will help to develop the project of reviving Žaliakalnis Old Jewish Cemetery. It is planned that all material will be published at virtual gallery in a special website dedicated to this initiative.