Fragments of History in Girkalnis
Photos showing the history of Girkalnis town and its surroundings, people who lived and worked here, the most important events of the Interwar Lithuania (1918-1940) are represented in these stands.
Girkalnis is known from the 15th c. Extant historical sources tell about a teacher who lived here in the 17th c. The town has grown especially in the 19th c. when it became the center of volost. The growth was mainly influenced by the fact that the old Samogitian road was near and connected with Raseiniai and Kaunas. Then the majority of the population of Girkalnis was Jews. Nearby Bilevičiai manor prospered. Girkalnis in the independent Lithuania was known as an educational and cultural center. Here was a six class elementary school, courses for adults were organized, and there were several public organizations in town.
In 1940, in Girkalnis there worked 6 teachers: Petras Skinderis, Antanina Antanaitytė, Ida Mickūnienė, Antanina Skinderienė, Stasė Mockevičienė, Kotryna Juškaitytė. When Lithuania was occupied by the Soviets, many teachers had to leave their work, some of them were deported. Such fate, in 1941, caught Skinderiai family; their family had many famous teachers in Girkalnis.
Throughout Girkalnis school existence (1637-2003) there worked more than 300 teachers. Many educated people, honored for Lithuania ascended from Girkalnis volost, including a priest, writer, member of the Constituent Assembly of Lithuania, public figure, founder of “Pavasarininkai” organization Povilas Dogelis (1877-1949). Ibenckis Vaclovas (1843-1893), the participant of 1863 Uprising was born in Bakaičiai mansion; writer Stanislava Paškevičienė (1846-1933) was born in Paliesis; literary critic, translator Viktoras Jocaitis (1895-1976), journalist Vytenis Neverdauskas (1958), sculptor Osvaldas Mickūnas, public figure, signatory of the March 11th Act Romualda Hofertienė (b. 1941) were born in Girkalnis; economist, participant of the 1941 Uprising professor Pranas Padalis-Padalskis (1911-1971) was born in Šikšniai; children poetry writer, a prominent figure of Lithuanian exile in the US Stasys Džiugas (1919-2011) was born in Juodkėnai; doctor of veterinary sciences, associate professor Kazimieras Lukauskas (b. 1950) was born in Ražaitėliai.
The originals of photos displayed in the stands are stored in Girkalnis elementary school; digital images of those photos also own the History Museum of Raseiniai Region.