Square Named after Emmanuel Levinas in Kaunas

December 11, BNS–The Kaunas city council executive body has agreed to rename the square next to lift carrying passengers to the neighborhood of Žaliakalnis after the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, the municipality reported Friday. Levinas is considered one of the most famous of Kaunas’s sons. He was born and lived there. Viktoras Bachmetjevas, an early proponent of the project to rename the square, said the proposal is four or five years old.

“I was thinking about how Levinas was one of the most important people ever born in Kaunas, and that there is almost no sign of him here. As a resident of Kaunas, I felt it my duty to increase the number of those signs. If he becomes an attraction in the city, that will be the best way to remember him,” Bachmetjevas commented. Levinas was an existentialist philosopher and a professor at the Sorbonne. He was born and lived in Kaunas’s Old Town and met his future wife there, whom he later married in Paris. His family living in Kaunas were murdered at the beginning of World War II.

A street in Kaunas was named earlier in his honor and there is a memorial plaque to mark his place of birth on a building on Karaliaus Mindaugo prospect.