Marking 100th Anniversary of Birth of Matilda Olkinaitė

Marking 100th Anniversary of Birth of Matilda Olkinaitė

The 100th anniversary of the birth of Matilda Olkinaitė took place June 6. She was a Lithuanian Jewish poet from Panemunėlis who was murdered with her family and the neighboring Joffee family in July of 1941 at the Sahara peat bog in the Rokiškis region before larger mass murders began there.

Events to mark the date at the Rokiškis Regional History Museum began with the play “Nutildytos mūzos” [Silenced Muses] by the Rokiškis People’s Theater. This was followed by a screening of the films “Atrandant Matildą” [Finding Matilda] and “Dangaus stulpai – skambančios sinagogos” [Pillars of Heaven: Singing Synagogues], and the opening of a museum exhibit.

Other events were held in her native town Panemunėlis just outside the city of Rokiškis. Rokiškis librarians set up a folk-art monument to honor Olkinaitė on the lawn of the Panemunėlis railroad station near Olkinaitė’s house. People from the Rokiškis People’s Theater also placed a stone monument at the site of Holocaust mass murder victims at the Sahara peat bog where Olkinaitė’s family and the Joffee family were murdered. Flowers were also laid at their family graves.

The main organizer of the ceremonies was Neringa Danienė from the Rokiškis Cultural Center. She thanked the Goodwill Foundation for support. Panevėžys Jewish Community chairman Gennady Kofman thanked the actors from the Rokiškis People’s Theater, staff of the Rokiškis Regional History Museum, the Rokiškis municipal and regional administration and all participants.

Full story in Lithuanian here.

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