TE15 Lithuanian Honey Cake

Irena: Life Should Be Clear

experiences of my entire life. Elias Canetti has written very insightfully about crowd psychology, but it is one thing to read books and quite another to experience that in reality, and to realize that one, too, is susceptible to manipulation. 20 Perhaps I am going on a tangent, but I have often thought that, during the Second World War, a portion of ethnic Lithuanians also succumbed to manipulation, especially with regards to the Jewish question. The anti-Semitic baggage was substantial . . . For a long time, I was surprised that post-war Lithuanian literature spoke so little about the tragedy of the Jews. After all, Lithuanians had seen how their Jewish neighbours were arrested, tortured, and murdered en masse , and how the entire Jewish world that had existed in Lithuania was destroyed! Yes, I know that the Lithuanian poet Sigitas Geda put together an anthology of poetry about the Holocaust, Mirtis , rečitatyvas ir mėlynas drugelis; that the journal Pergalė published Antanas Jonynas’s story “Šuliny”; that Jonas Avyžius wrote about the Jewish tragedy in his novel Sodybų tuštėjimo metas; and that Algimantas Mackus wrote the wonderful poem “ Jurekas ”. 21 There are many examples, but in general, 20 Reference to Elias Canetti’s Masse und Macht (Crowds and power), 1960. 21 Mirtis, rečitatyvas ir mėlynas drugelis. Lietuvių poetai apie holokaustą [Death, a recitative and the blue butterfly: Lithuanian poets on the Holocaust], ed. Sigitas Geda, Vilnius: Vaga, 1999. Fragments of Antanas Jonynas’ unfinished novel Šuliny [In the well] were first published in the literary journal Pergalė, later published in a


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