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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus


HEALING WOUNDS OF SOUL Lithuanian local exhibition

Published: 2022-04-21

The exhibition 'Healing Wounds of Soul' prepared by the Faculty of Communication of Vilnius University reveals the dilemmas faced by the young women, the youth and young girls seeking to survive in the brutal conditions of World War II and the Holocaust. The testimonies of the survivors, their daughters and grandchildren reveal that wounds of the soul remain open even in several generations of the family, and if the traumatic experiences are kept secret in silence, it is felt as if the salt is being poured on the wounds, preventing them from healing. Daughters and grandchildren of women who have experienced traumatic experiences are reluctant to talk about past events. 

Complicated dilemmas and their consequences, traumatic physical and psychological experiences leave wounds of the soul that may be forgotten but not healed. Memories open these wounds again, and fear, shame, uncertainty and stress – even if not expressed in words – can be passed down from generation to generation. Testimonies of the Holocaust survivors reveal psychological trauma that causes identity breaches, and also the importance of female solidarity in life-threatening circumstances. After the war ended, it was continued in the memories of women and their children until the courage to talk helped them understand their feelings and open up to the world. Sharing of feelings encourages the openness of the others. When we open ourselves up, it becomes safer for the other person to talk about personal experiences. 
The stories of women provided in the exposition, and their most painful experiences revealed to the world, paved the way to reconciliation and healing the wounds of the soul. Stories that were kept secret for decades trigger emotions, and only human solidarity and empathy helps to understand them.
Production of the exhibition is funded by Creative Europe and Lithuanian Council for Culture.
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