Remarks at the Museum of the Lost Shtetl Groundbreaking Ceremony in Seduva
May 4, 2018
Prime Minister Skvernelis, Speaker Pranckietis, Minister Linkevičius, Mayor Čepononis, elder Pranys, fellow ambassadors, distinguished guests, and, last but not least, Sergey Kanovitch and the Lost Shtetl Team,
It is a great honor and privilege for me to take part in this groundbreaking ceremony for the Lost Shtetl Museum. This past December, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Šeduva and learn about this unique project.
Sergey’s team showed us the restored Jewish cemetery, the monument in the town center, and the memorials to those killed in the Holocaust. I will never forget that snowy day: touring these sites, learning about the life of the shtetl-dwelling Litvaks, remembering their contributions to Lithuania’s past.
Over the past years, Lithuania has made tremendous progress in preserving its Jewish legacy, by preserving sites, erecting monuments and researching its history, and in raising awareness, by promoting educational projects and encouraging an open, honest dialogue about the past.
I commend the Šeduva community for hosting this initiative and I hope that many visitors from the United States will visit your town, learn about Lithuania’s past, and make new connections between our two countries.
I am especially happy to note that one of the contributors to this museum is New York-based Ralph Applebaum Associates, who have worked on so many great projects, to include our Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. All of us at the U.S. Embassy look forward to continued cooperation and eagerly await the museum’s opening!