Re: Needing advice, suggestions, etc. --for planning a trip to Vilna (Vilnius) #lithuania
The Jewish Historical Institute in Vilna can arrange a guide for you. We were put in touch with Regina Kopelovich about 7 years ago. Her English was excellent. Her understanding and sympathy with Jewish history was most appreciated.
She checked old telephone books before our meeting and was able to take me to the building and the site ( of a now destroyed house) where my aunts lived and where my father sheltered. We walked through the old town for 2 or 3 hours.
The next day, we teamed up with another traveller interested in seeing the Red Fort prison in Kaunus. He had arranged to use Regina as his guide. Again, she provided excellent information.
As my father had received a visa from Sugihara, Regina gave us directions to the former Japanese consulate, maintained by the Sugihara institute. We went there on our own , walked down to the train station and returned to Vilna without any problem.
I do recommend seeing the small Holocaust mueum in the little green house. The displays are very moving.
Having a guide for Jewish Vilna made a big difference for use. There were alleyways and passages we wound not have found. We were given insights into the workings of the ghetto that were so helpful in understanding those times.
Irene Lampert Klar