June 24 – Partial correction and relief

Well, one of us certainly knows how to use Google for answers, and it doesn’t seem to be me!  After fruitlessly searching for a micro USB cable that would fit the opening in the camera body that I thought would charge the battery, it was discovered that a previously unnoticed teeny tiny cover was on the side of the camera which actually is where it can be charged through a USB-C cable!  And, yes, it actually worked. Of course, without an SD card reader, I can’t retrieve the photos – yes, I could probably send them through a wi-fi connection, but I am taking hundreds of pictures every day (remember each of them is worth 1,000 words).

There were two ghettos in Vilnius – the small ghetto and the large ghetto.  The small ghetto housed 11,000 people for 6 months.  It was primarily inhabited by the elderly and the feeble.  Most of the Jews who lived there were murdered, a few were moved into the large ghetto which remained open for a couple of years.

Probably the most famous son of Vilna, at least in the Jewish world, is the Vilna Gaon. There are statues, streets and buildings all bearing his name. Again, the juxtaposition of the remnants of the Jewish community with the modern city is startling – there are plaques all over this ancient city attesting to the fact that once there was a community here, of culture, of spirit, of scholarship and talent.

The churches are simply magnificent in their grace and beauty. Everywhere you turn there is another church. The variety of architectural styles is astonishing.  Walking the streets, I feel the way I did in France at Mont St. Michel with its narrow streets, crowds of people and ancient buildings. The buildings here, many of which survived the war, have been repurposed with new shops. Many of them have been reconstructed, with, by ordinance, a part of the new facade proving a window into the old construction. Looking at the crowds on the street shopping, eating, and touring, if I narrow my eyes just slightly I can go back in time and imagine these streets 100 years ago and earlier – crowded with tourists and people eating and shopping – the clothes are different, the shops  are too, but still, it’s the same.

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