chapter
3 Pages

Kaunas

WithJoseph Rykwert

In this chapter the author recollects the memories of his early life. The author's family was among the few who could afford to go to Kaunas, which had a garrison fortress, one or two hotels, one or two cafes, but was not really much bigger than a solid market-cum-factory town. Polish refugees spent their afternoons in the town's main cafe handing round passports with outlandish visas – Japan and Manchuria, Persia and Thailand, various Latin American countries. The author's family boarded the train to Riga on Kaunas Station. Prosperous, clean Riga – the capital of a small but rich, paved, industrial and rather Germanic country – was in sharp contrast to down-at-heel, cobbled, Russian-provincial Kaunas. The morning after their arrival, they were at the airport to board the Soviet DC3 for Stockholm. The author and his brother with no school to go to wandered about Stockholm as they had done in Kaunas.