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What is RECLAIMING LITHUANIA?     

RECLAIMING LITHUANIA is a search and a reclaiming of my Lithuanian identity. On my mother’s side, I am first generation American. I grew up in a home that spoke Yiddish, amongst other languages. By the time I was five, I began teaching my grandmother the English alphabet. My grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, was born in Shirvent, Lithuania in 1916 and my mother in a Jewish refugee camp in Munich, Germany after World War II. When my mother was still a young girl, they sailed to New York City, where they began their lives as immigrants. Later my family moved to Tucson, Arizona and I was born. This is my story, and the story of my grandmother, and the story of my mother, and the story of the men in the Holocaust, and the women, and all that share experiences of trial and triumph. This is for you. This story goes beyond the Holocaust. It is about genocide and about being human. I tell my story as an invitation, as a collaboration, so that you can share yours and together we can become the moderate voice of peace. 

Peace is possible. I strive to find peace in myself because I strongly believe that if peace can exist in me, it can exist outside of me.

I would have been born in Lithuania had the war not broke out, had Hitler and his allies not murdered my family, but I wasn’t. I was born in America, and for this I am very grateful. Yet when I went back to Lithuania, the streets belonged to me. I knew them. I had felt them before. The grass spoke to me. The forest told me secrets. The trees and their branches stroked my hair. 

Lithuania remembered me. And I remembered her. I remembered the feel of her waters, her concrete slabs. I remembered the voices from the streets, the voices in the graves. Genetic memories, historical memories can never be forgotten. Ever. 

Lithuania became my home, with all of its horrors and beauties. I have claimed it as my own. 

RECLAIMING LITHUANIA is a search for identity, a search for home, and search for peace amidst a horrific historical past. 

This project is dedicated to peace and love, and all those who embrace unity, harmony, and joy. Welcome to RECLAIMING LITHUANIA and The Human Archive Project.

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RECLAIMING LITHUANIA is in six sections:

Section I:

  1. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 1. Frankfurt, Dachau, & Munich, Germany
  2. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 2. Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest, & Prague
  3. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 3. Terezin, Czech Republic

Section II:

  1. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 4. Berlin, Germany
  2. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 5. Berlin to Krakow.
  3. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 6. Krakow, Poland

Section III:

  1. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 7. Warsaw, Poland.
  2. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 8. Lithuania: Vilnius, Tolerance Center, New Jewish Cemetery
  3. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 9. Lithuania: Paneriai, Ziezmariai (a shtetl), and Kaunus

Section IV:

  1. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 10. Lithuania.
  2. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 11. Lithuania: The Jewish Community Center, Fit Life, Trakai, Vilnius, The Old Jewish Cemetery, & the Market
  3. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 12. Lithuania

Section V:

  1. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 13. Lithuania
  2. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 14. Lithuania: The Holocaust Museum.
  3. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 15. Lithuania: Shirvent, 9th Fort, and Kaunas

Section VI:

  1. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 16.  Lithuania: Olympics and last day.
  2. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 17. Frankfurt, Ansbach, Nürburg.
  3. Reclaiming Lithuania: Part 18.  Leaving Ansbach to Frankfurt, Los Angeles, and home in Tucson, Arizona