The Jewish community was flourishing in Lithuania for more than six centuries; it made Vilnius known all over the world. Skilful craftsmen, legendary doctors and lawyers, patrons and scientists who laid the foundations of Jewish science and education worked here; famous artists started their way to glory in this city.
The streets and buildings of Vilnius still preserve the memory of this continent that sank to oblivion. Do we know that the Lithuanian Jewish community is now working in the glorious building of the famous Tarbut Gymnasium, and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, in the premises of the Jewish Bank; that we pass everyday by houses where the great Vasily Kachalov was born and grew up; where Jascha Heifetz touched his strings for the first time; where the founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzli, was holding discussions; where the world famous artists Jacques Lipchitz and Chaim Soutin studied; the prototype of Aibolit doctor Shabat was curing people? Do we notice specific details of Jewish architecture, typical Jewish courtyards, rows of shops, a multi-storey complex of charity flats or impressive buildings of a Jewish hospital?
Fewer enlightened Jews, the old inhabitants of pre-war Vilnius who had grown up here, communicated and absorbed knowledge from the greatest authorities of Lithuanian Jerusalem remain. The authors of the film have invited some of them − Semion Svirskis, Faina Broncovskaja, Rachile Margolis and the writer Maša Rolnik – to be guides through the streets in the old town that still remember the life of Vilnius Jews. The memory of the legendary Mohican of Lithuanian Jerusalem, Elijah Lazar Aaron (1902- 1993) and others who have left us will be revived by the footage from the Independent Holocaust Studies archive.
The film reflects the care of recreation and preservation of the cultural heritage of Vilnius Jews shown by our state and international community.