Plateliai, Lithuania


Litvak Memorial Garden

Visit by the President of Lithuania

January 2020


From Eugenijus Bunka

During his working visit to Samogitia, his Excellency President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda also visited the Litvak Memorial Garden, established near Plateliai by the Jakovas Bunka Charity and Sponsorship Fund where 52 memorial metal apple trees forged by a Lithuanian folk artist Artūras Platakis have been “planted”.

The president expressed his desire to “plant” a memorial tree commemorating the Jewish community of Darbėnai and dedicate a Memorial Apple to David Wolffsohn, one of the patriarchs of the State of Israel, born and raised in Darbėnai.

In the photo: his Excellency President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda and Eugenijus Bunka, Executive Director of Jakovas Bunka Charity and Sponsorship Fund, the garden’s founder.

According to a statement issued by the Presidential Communication Group, “The Garden, whose outline echoes the outline of Lithuania, is a unique memorial built to commemorate the Jewish communities of Lithuania, whose number before 1940 was over 200. It is a place where metal apple trees “grow” while their fruits perpetuate the memory of families that once lived in those communities. According to the President, we can only imagine how many generations that may have contributed to the development of our country and the world have been lost. Today’s Litvaks, though scattered throughout the world, feel an emotional connection with our country. They visit Lithuania, celebrate our achievements and are saddened by failures. These people show goodwill towards Lithuania and are not indifferent to how we live. It is no coincidence that this year was designated as the year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania.