Kaunas is the capital of Lithuania and one of the most attractive cities in Lithuania. In 2022, it was declared the “European Capital of Culture” owing to its rich cultural, fashion life, and artistic construction life. Kaunas is the second largest city of Lithuania; it is located at the confluence of rivers Nemunas and Neris, said to be the largest rivers in the country. It is a municipal city and serves most functions of a municipality. Moreover, it is the current seat of the Roman Catholic Archdioceses of Kaunas.
- Before Lithuania’s independence, the town was referred to in English as Kovno. It has a history of Polish and Russian origin; however, the German terms Kaunas and Karen are the closest relation to the current name.
- Kaunas has a rich academic, cultural, and fashion life. The structures and energy of the people describe a rich cultural background earning it the European Heritage Label.
- There are countless constructions of art Deco in Kaunas; this is an architectural style of construction first cited in the 1910s in France.
- Kaunas became a city in 1317; however, it was in 1408 that it got the right of self-governance.
- Although Kaunas suffered damage during the Second World War, many historical buildings have been preserved.
- A minor planet is named after Kaunas; it was discovered by Lithuanian astronomers in 2002 and named after the city.
Capital city of Lithuania is Vilnius , a simple google search would’ve prevented this error
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania ,
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, not Kaunas.
My grandparents and mother are from Kaunas.
However, it was only known as Kovno in Jewish or Yiddish. It is Kaunas in Lithuanian. From 1794 to 1918, Lithuania was part of the Russian Empire. Kaunas had a large Jewish population which the Russian Empire required to live in a specific geographic area known as The Pale of Settlement. ( you probably heard of the saying “beyond the pale”. This is where the saying comes from).
In 1918, Lithuania and Poland both declared independence from Russia. After civil wars Kaunas remained in Lithuania and the capital city Vilnius was invaded and occupied by Poland. Kaunas then became the capital until 1939.
In the between war period of the 1920a and 30s, anti- Jewish laws and policies were enacted by the Lithuanian dictator president and politicians. 1n 1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland and gave Vilnius back to Lithuania. In June 1940, the Soviet Union invaded Lithuania until June 1941 and arrested and deported many Lithuanians and Lithuanian Jews to Siberia and confiscated all banks, synagogues, churches, religious schools and institutions and arrested and deported all government, Catholic Church and Jewish leadership.
In June 1941, the Nazi Germans invaded Lithuania and with Lithuanian leadership and police began immediately arresting and mass murdering Lithuania’s 220,000 Jewish population by shooting children, women and men in pits in the major cities and villages of Lithuania and confiscating all Jewish homes and property and giving these to Lithuanians. Over 70,000 Jews were murdered in pits in the Vilnius forest and 40,000 plus in Kaunas.
Non-Jewish Lithuanians began fleeing to Germany where after the war ended in 1945 they were in displaced person camps until able to migrate to United Statrs, Canada, South America and Australia. My family fled Lithuania and went West after having their bank accounts taken by the Russians and then after seeing the traumatic murdering of the Jews by the Germans and Lithuanian citizenry.
The Nazi Germans fled Lithuanian in 1944 and the Soviet Russians invaded again and began deporting ethnic Lithuanians to Siberia.
Kaunas is a nice small city but a place of historic suffering. The infamous Seven Forts of Kaunas originally built by the Russian Empire were used to imprison Jews arrested between 1941 and 1944 who were then marched to the huge pits outside Kaunas and murdered by shooting.
Although many beautiful buildings are found in Kaunas, there is much hatred and suffering hidden that younger generations do not know.