The #ŽydiškųPašnekesiai discussion club will address the topic “Was Jewish Life Great during the Smetona Era” at the Bagel Shop Café at Pylimo street no. 4 in Vilnius at 5:00 P.M. on February 8. The discussion will be live-streamed on the Lithuanian Jewish Community’s facebook page.
In the broader public discussion of whether to erect a statue to the interwar Lithuanian president and dictator Antanas Smetona, proponents have begun saying he defended Lithuania’s Jewish population and was even known as “King of the Jews.” Opponents of the monument counter there were no stops placed on anti-Semitism in Lithuania in the period between the two world wars, meaning the entire span of Lithuanian independence, and Jews were banned from public service and elsewhere.
What do today’s Jews and Lithuania’s current crop of historians think about these issues? Attend or tune in to find out.
Moderator and club founder Arkadijus Vinokuras will put the question to Faina Kukliansky, chairwoman, Lithuanian Jewish Community; Žygimantas Menčenkovas, member of the Leftist Alliance, philosopher, teacher and activist and via internet Linas Venclauskas, historian and author of a recent book on Lithuanian anti-Semitism prior to 1940.