Antanas Sutkus, a master of art photography (born in the Kluoniskiai village not far from Kaunas in 1939), learned about the mass killing of Jews by Nazis during World War Il from his grandparents. Being a Lithuanian himself, he intuitively felt bitterly opposed to the humiliation of man and mass destruction of human life in his homeland. He had feelings of shame and guilt for what had been going on behind the Vilijampole ghetto gates and in the 9th fort then known as “Enterprise 1.005B” between 1941 and 1944.
200.000 men, women, children and old folk were shot dead and thrown into pits prepared for them at forest edges, quarries and death camps. It was in l 988 that Antanas Sutkus began to photograph the Kaunas Jews who had miraculously escaped death in concentration camps.
Gradually personal relationships were struck up. The camera, like a scalpel, went deeper and deeper through the tissues of memory and time. The photo exhibition Pro memoria by Antanas Sutkus dedicated to the memory of the Kaunas ghetto produces a tremendous impact showing the power of presentation of dramatic reality, the undiminished capacity of the creator and a kind heart’s attempts at understanding, penitence, purification and rebirth.