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Lithuanian Prime Minister Visits YIVO

As part of his recent trip to the United States, Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas of Lithuania visited YIVO on June 30, 2008. He was given a tour of YIVO’s Rare Book Room and Archives, followed by a discussion that touched on YIVO-owned Hebrew- and Yiddish-language books, rediscovered in 1989, that are now housed in the Bibliographical Center of the Lithuanian National Library. His historic visit is documented in the photographs below. (Photographs by Melanie Einzig)
Prime Minister Kirkilas is greeted by YIVO Executive Director Carl Rheins; in the background, Vaclovas Šalkauskas, Head of the Lithuanian Government’s Foreign Policy Division.
On the way to the rare book room, the group viewed YIVO’s current exhibition, “From Dream to Reality: Zionism & the Birth of Israel.” From left to right, Valdemaras Sarapinas, Chancellor of the Government of Lithuania; Prime Minister Kirkilas; Saul Kagan, of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany; H.E. Audrius Brūzga, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the U.S.; H.E. Petras Vaitiekūnas, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Carl Rheins.
A display of posters from the exhibition. Left to right, Carl Rheins; Saul Kagan; Prime Minister Kirkilas; Ambassador Brūzga.
Head Librarian Aviva Astrinsky displays books in the Rare Book Room, including the “DP Talmud” published in Munich in 1948 by the U.S. Army; it was the first Talmud published in Europe after the Holocaust. Left to right, Saul Kagan; Carl Rheins; Prime Minister Kirkilas; Foreign Minister Vaitiekūnas; Aviva Astrinsky.
Examining a volume of the famous Vilna Talmud, published by Romm in 1886. Left to right, Saul Kagan; Prime Minister Kirkilas; Vilius Kavaliauskas, Advisor to the Prime Minister; Aviva Astrinsky.
Archivist Leo Greenbaum showing the visitors pages from a century-old manuscript on folklore written in Lithuanian, an item in YIVO’s Bund Archives. Left to right, Foreign MinisterVaitiekūnas; Vilius Kavaliauskas; Leo Greenbaum; Prime Minister Kirkilas.
Project Director Jeffrey Edelstein presents a set of The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe to the prime minister at the end of his visit. In the background is Ambassador Brūzga.