TE15 Lithuanian Honey Cake

Irena: Life Should Be Clear

I knew Kaunas very well, so I went to Onutė and Juozas’s building at the beginning of Donelaičio Street, only to realize that I did not know their apartment number. I had no choice but to knock on the first door I found and, as I learned later, encountered the building guard. This couldhavebeen a fateful encounter—at the time, many building guards were collaborating with the Gestapo. Once again, it was likely my flawless Lithuanian that

Juozas Strimaitis and Ona Bagdonavičiūtė- Strimaitienė, Brussels, 1938.

saved me. The guard did not suspect anything, but when Onutė and Juozas learned that before knocking on their door I had met the guard, they became terrified. After what must have been a sleepless night for them, Juozas and I rushed out early in the morning to catch the “Kaunas-Vilnius” diesel train. That is how I ended up in Vilnius, and the Vilnius period of my life began. From November 8, 1943 I became a vilnietė—a Vilnius resident. When we arrived in the city, Juozas took me to his sister’s


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