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‘Samuel Bak. Stations in Life’. Art testifies about Holocaust
The Embassy of Lithuania in the UK cordially invites you to commemorate the National Memorial Day for the Genocide of Lithuanian Jews. This year we will pay a special tribute to the life and work of internationally renowned painter and Vilnius-born Holocaust survivor, Samuel Bak.
A memorial candle lighting ceremony will be followed by the presentation ‘Samuel Bak. Stations in Life’ by art historian Ieva Šadzevičienė, the Head of the Samuel Bak Museum and the Tolerance Centre of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, who will set the scene for the main highlight of the evening – a live video conversation with Samuel Bak from the USA. This will be followed by a recital with the Lithuanian pianist Ugnė Vazgilevičiūtė and New Zealander cellist Jacky Siu, graduates of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, performing pieces by two musical visionaries – Ernest Bloch and Leoš Janáček.
Samuel Bak was born in 1933, in Vilnius. Samuel and his family were imprisoned in the Vilnius (Vilna) Ghetto in 1941, the year Nazi Germany occupied Lithuania. There, in 1943, at the age of nine, Samuel held his first art exhibition. Samuel Bak and his parents were among those sent to HKP 562 forced labour camp in Vilnius. Only Samuel and his mother survived WWII - during the most difficult circumstances finding the hide-out in the Benedictine monastery of Vilnius (his father and 4 grandparents perished in the Holocaust). After the war they fled from Lithuania to the displaced persons camp in Landsberg, Germany, and later, in the summer of 1948, moved to Israel. Samuel continued his education at the École des Beaux-arts in Paris. After living and presenting exhibitions of his works in Israel and Europe, Samuel Bak eventually settled in Weston, Massachusetts, USA in 1993.
In May 2001, after being away for over fifty years, Samuel Bak returned to visit his hometown Vilnius and published his celebrated memoir Painted in Words. In 2017, the Samuel Bak Museum was opened as a new branch of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, hosting donations of more than 100 works by the artist (with 37 currently on display), and Samuel Bak became the 15th Honorary Citizen of Vilnius. Last year, the painter was awarded the Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania.
H. E. Renatas Norkus, Ambassador of Lithuania
Dr Sheila Gewolb, Senior Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews
Candle-Lighting Ceremony in Memory of Holocaust Victims in Lithuania
Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE
From Jewish Life: Prayer - Ernest Bloch
performed by Ugnė Vazgilevičiūtė and Jacky Siu
Samuel Bak. Stations in Life
Presentation by art historian Ieva Šadzevičienė, the Head of the Samuel Bak Museum and the Tolerance Centre of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum
Live video conversation and Q&A session with Samuel Bak
From Jewish Life: Supplication, Jewish Song – Ernest Bloch
In the Mists – Leoš Janáček
Performed by Ugnė Vazgilevičiūtė and Jacky Siu.
Please register your participation via Evenbrite - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/samuel-bak-stations-in-life-national-holocaust-remembrance-day-tickets-68785781123