OPINION | 2023 “WORKING GROUP” ON VILNA CEMETERY | OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO CONVENTION CENTER | THE “CPJCE” LONDON GRAVE TRADERS | CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES | LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY AFFAIRS | HUMAN RIGHTS
by Julius Norwilla (Vilnius)
ear eminent members of the Prime Minister’s Working Group assembling this week in Vilnius to carry forth your deliberations on the future of the sacred Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in the Šnipiškės district of modern Vilnius, Yiddish Šnipiškės):
To introduce myself, I am a Kaunas-born former Protestant minister in Vilnius who has for years been active in projects in the field of Jewish culture, including preservation of mass graves and old Jewish cemeteries. Some years ago, I was honored to be invited to give a speech at the Israeli Embassy in Tel Aviv on the subject of the fate of the beloved old cemetery at Piramónt. I have also been studying Yiddish language and literature for years, and this semester am honored to be have been invited to commute each month to Białystok in Poland to teach a class in Yiddish. I invite you to look through some of my article on Jewish affairs and Jewish studies over the past years (available here in reverse chronological order).
First, to the foreign members of the Working Group: Welcome! If I can be of help to anyone during your stay in Vilnius, or show you some little-known Jewish gravesites in the region, and introduce you to some remarkable Jewish friends in town please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org).