Vereinigung für Vernetzung und Partizipation e.V. from Berlin (The Association for Networking and Participation) reports on their website about impressions from their trip to Vilnius. We also would like to share them with you.
During our trip to Lithuania for a preparatory meeting for youth exchange, we constantly encountered expressions of solidarity with Ukraine. Both on billboards along highways and in cities. Putin is also addressed very directly, and sometimes jailed as a cardboard cutout.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, a new landmark appeared in the Lithuanian city of Vilnius. High on the skyline of the city’s business district is a huge inscription on a skyscraper. It is painted in the blue and yellow colors of Ukraine or the EU. The inscription reads: “Putin, Hague is waiting for you.”
Lithuanian civil society shows in other ways that Putin can make up for his Russian world. We came across another example of this in Trakai Castle. The rebuilt castle with moats was the residence of the Grand Duchy until the founding of the city of Vilnius. In the historical exhibition it is easy to understand how this successor state of Kievan Rus connects the history of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.
Putin in the well
At the bottom of the fountain in the utility building belonging to the castle, a surprise awaited us: instead of being in cells controlled by law and order in The Hague, Putin had already drowned (at least in the form of a cardboard statue) at the bottom of the fountain.
After a very tasty lunch we continued talking about prisons.
Visit to the KGB Museum
We visited the KGB museum. The “Museum of the Occupation and Struggle for Freedom” is housed in a czarist-era prison used by the Gestapo and KGB of the USSR to interrogate, torture and execute political opponents. The display in the basement was very well done. Historians have tried not to lump together the different stages of the use of the prison, but to present the various conditions of detention in it in a differentiated way.
Prisoner in a cell Putin
And here we met Putin again. Another example of a cardboard statue, which we have already seen in the fountain of Trakai Castle, also crossed with us here in the form of a prisoner in a cell.
Learning for life
But we Berliners learned even more at the Trakai Castle Museum. Attention:
The project is included in the MEET UP funding programme! The project “Youth for Partnership” is funded by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ), the German Foreign Office, the European Union within the Erasmus+ programme, the Bertha von Suttner Foundation and the Deutschen Friedensgesellschaft-Vereinigte Kriegsgegner*innen (DFG-VK). This publication does not represent the opinion of the Foundation EVZ. The contents of this publication are the responsibility of the author.