President of the Republic of Lithuania

State award to Samuel Bak, guardian of the Holocaust memory


Tuesday, May 22, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė presented the world-renowned painter, Litvak Samuel Bak with the Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania.

This award was bestowed upon the famous painter and active promoter of remembrance of the Vilnius Ghetto on the occasion of February 16, the Centennial of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania.

According to the President, it is very important that Samuel Bak’s talent bespeaking of the tragedy of the Holocaust – the annihilation of most of the Jewish community of Vilnius – is so vivid that it touches every heart and transmits the memory to young generations as a lesson of the past about the fight of civilization for humanity, which remains topical to this day.

The President underscored that people who had rescued Bak and other prisoners of the Vilnius Ghetto, known as the Righteous Among the Nations, had also rescued eternal human values. Their courage and sacrifice have enabled us to admire this exceptional artist and his works that invite us to confront the painful pages of history.

Last year, the Samuel Bak Museum was opened in Vilnius. A book, in which a nine-year-old boy, the future painter, drew what he saw in the Ghetto, is one of the most impressive exhibits of the museum. Samuel Bak wrote a deeply moving book of memoirs “Painted in Words” in which he narrates about his life in Vilnius and the story of his escape.

Today, the Tolerance Center hosts a meeting with Samuel Bak, who resides in the United States of America, during which he will tell about his artistic path that began in Vilnius.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.05.22 14:25