TE15 Lithuanian Honey Cake
Irena: Life Should Be Clear
arrive from the countryside with bacon, eggs, flour or potatoes, and the family, despite Agnietė’s fears, would not go hungry. Another person who lived with us on Trakų Street was the teacher Adelė Dirsytė, who is currently being beatified by the Catholic Church. 13 She was teaching German at Vilnius Girls’ High School. And there was also a Mr. Česlovas Mečys, a man with a wonderful sense of humour. Hewas short and plump, and he liked to joke that he only needed to wave his little finger and “all the girls would come running to him.” I have no doubt that both Adelė and Mr. Česlovas knew that I was Jewish, but they were on our side. On the other hand, Mrs. Ladigienė’s children knew nothing. I remember one funny incident. Marija Ladigaitė (later Vildžiūnienė) was in the same class as Irena Žemaitytė (later Geniušienė). They had to participate in some kind of thematic evening wearing folk costumes, and were talking amongst themselves: “What sorts of Lithuania girls do we make? But look at Irena—she really looks Lithuanian!” Of course, hearing such talk, all I could do was smile silently. To this day, it makes me happy to remember that conversation. I was happy and felt loved in Mrs. Ladigienė’s home. What was my everyday existence like during that period? I continued to work in the nursery at Dr. Rudaitis’s clinic. I was dying to go to the theatre or the cinema. I did not 13 The process of Adelė Dirsytė’s beatification began in 2000. For more about Adelė Dirsytė c.f.: Adelė Dirsytė: Gyvenimas ir darbai [Adelė Dirsytė: Life and work], ed. Mindaugas Bloznelis, Vilnius: Katalikų akademija, 2003.
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