When one “returns” to the “Old Country” of one’s parents and grandparents, one arrives with a mixed bag of perceptions and received memories that may or may not be directly related to actual events. Yet one feels a certain affinity for the people and places about which one has heard. One thinks one already is on the path to understanding the sense of place and the culture of the people.
In this case of a small Baltic country with a complicated history—two invasions and occupations and the destruction of nearly all of its Jewish population in the Second World War and incorporation into the USSR until 1990—the cultural layers are piled up upon one another. As such, Lithuania combines differing histories and differing experiences that seem to contradict as much as complement each other. It is a country that has undergone vast traumas and, after the