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Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius took part in an opening of the Vilnius Jewish
library

Date

2011 12 16

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Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius today participated in an opening of the Vilnius Jewish library. “Not knowing what Vilnius was like in the 19th-20th century, before the Holocaust, means not knowing what Vilnius is actually like. This library means great joy, a tragedy and diversity. We have recovered our great asset”, said Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius welcoming everyone at the opening ceremony of the public library.

The library will be responsible for the accumulation of a fund of literature and documents of the Jewish culture, history, science and arts; at the same time, it will constitute a public space for the implementation of initiatives for the promotion of cultural diversity and cultural dialogue. The library will also house exhibitions, presentations of works, meetings as well as educational and cultural events. In particular, the events will feature new Jewish literature which is related to the culture and tradition of Litvaks.

The library was started by a collection of about 5 thousand books donated to Lithuania on the initiative of book collector Wyman Brent. The historical tradition of a public Jewish library in Vilnius dates back to the end of the 19th century when Matas Strašūnas, a Jewish patron, by his will, donated the entire personal library which was used to set up the first public library of the Jewish community.

The Vilnius Jewish public library, located on Gedimino avenue, has been established as a structural unit of the Adam Mickiewicz library of Vilnius region. The establishment of the Vilnius Jewish library is on the list of measures commemorating the year of the Lithuanian residents who became victims of the Holocaust.