Snapshot from a virtual tour of Šeduva on "Zoom" platform.
More than 60 Jews from the US, South Africa, Israel, Australia, and other countries "gathered" in Šeduva last Sunday, August 28. They were invited to take a virtual walk through the shtetl where their ancestors were born and raised. We celebrated the 290th anniversary of Jewish settlement in the town with this event.
The virtual tour of Šeduva was our thank-you to the descendants of Jews from Šeduva for their friendship and help in creating the Lost Shtetl Museum. Some of the descendants had never visited Šeduva before but were interested keenly in the town and wanted to see what it looked like now. Chief museum curator Milda Jakulytė-Vasil said: "This event was very important to those who haven't had and might never have the opportunity to visit the land of their ancestors but who have nonetheless been eagerly looking forward for several years now to the opening of the museum, and who have shared their stories, memories, and items with us. We wanted to show how much we appreciate their contribution and that we are grateful for all of their memories which have helped us piece together the history of the shtetl from small fragments."
Tour guide Aušra Mikulskienė led the virtual excursion, showing participants the main streets and Jewish locations in Šeduva: Freedom Square where the market was held on Thursdays, the courtyard of the wooden and brick-and-mortar synagogues, the church which was witness to such dramatic events, the pharmacy and Jewish shops. She told stories from the everyday life of Jews in Šeduva illustrated by historical photographs which we have received from the descendants of Jews from Šeduva.
"Thank you so much. Thank you especially for making the point that what happened to Jewish families in Seduva in August 1941 is part of the history of all Seduvans. The bridge you are building between past and present, between Seduva descendants around the world, and between yourselves and ourselves is a beautiful thing." Jane Starfield from South Africa said.
Beryl Sachs from the United States had this to say about this tour and the past: "I always pictured Sheduva as in "Fiddler on the roof". The tour gave me a new feel for the town and I greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your efforts."
The virtual tour, which took place via the Zoom program, not only brought together distant lands but also allowed the descendants to meet again their distant relatives whom they haven't seen for a long time and to make new contacts.