09 September 2016

Tried to read before class, but didn’t leave enough time to wade through another entirely incomprehensible article for Morality of War.

The new class is held in the history department, thus another unreal view of the (adjacent) Presidential Palace. The course is titled ‘National Minorities in Lithuania and East Central Europe, 1918-1939’. The professor is Dr. Saulius Kaubrys  a shlubbish man with a difficult accent, but enthusiastic and engaging.

We learned about demographics from the 1923 Census, the first and only during the entire interwar period. Of the 2.1 million residents about 84% were ethnically Lithuanian, a relatively large amount of homogeneity. Nevertheless, the newly independent nation boasted 26 minority groups, of which 6 had populations over 1,000- Poles, Russians, Germans, Latvians, Belarusians, and the largest minority group… Jews!

Jews accounted for 7.6% of the population- 156,000 people. Apparently only 15 Jews (by nationality) did not belong to the Jewish faith. At the same time in Poland, only 75% of Jews (nationality) belonged to the faith. I learned that, in spite of the traditional view of our ancestors being peasants in small shtetls, the vast majority of Jews (65-70%) lived in cities and accounted for over 3 quarters of all traders. In contrast, about 85% of ethnic Lithuanians subsisted on agriculture and lived in rural areas. Jews were also among the most literate in Lithuania (Slavs being the least). It is easy to imagine how these conditions could have bred resentment.

After class I went to another coffee shop and made another attempt at my Morality of War readings, which I still can’t fathom how a non-native speaker could possibly comprehend.

Walked back to Olandu where I showered and groomed before heading to a lonely dinner in city center. The food was boring.

Around 8:00 I met up with Daniel at the suite that he had rented for the night. Kristiaan joined us, and later Dimo, Bashar (Turkish) and Koyku (Japanese)- the brothers’ roomate. We drank and watched music videos on MTV before heading to the event at 11:00.

At first we thought we were at the wrong location because the building was luxurious and massive.

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After further inquiry we learned that the event was on the ‘thirth’ floor.

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The ballroom was gorgeous, it was a welcome party for Erasmus students. I stayed for a couple hours then took the taxi home.

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