Many coincidences and surprises could happen during our work with the amount of people we meet during our tours.
It always interesting to meet new people and hear different family stories. People share how their members became dispersed all over the world. My recent client’s father was born in Šeduva, a small Lithuanian town, which today is not visited by many tourist. In the early 20’s the whole family moved from Šeduva to USA, they move one by one but when the term of Professor Friedlender’s father came, there was strict migration limitations to the USA, he ended up in Argentina. Prof. Friedlender himself was born in Chile and later moved to Israel.
Three generations of the Friedlender family were born in three different countries, in three different continents and have different mother tongues. Family reunion trip took place this year. Out of nine days trip to Lithuania, one was dedicated to visit Prof. Fridlender father’s hometown – Šeduva.
The coincidence we experienced was impossible to plan or even imagine. It turned out to be exactly Prof. Friedlender birthday. Being on such a day in town where your father was born is very symbolic and meaningful. But the story continues even in a more unbelievable way.
Walking in the main square of Šeduva we hear police siren. A cortege of government cars arrived in this small town and stopped just opposite to us. We were standing in front of the town hall building and hold on for a minute to see who was coming, it was the Chairman of Lithuanian Parliament
Mr. Viktoras Pranckietis. He greeted the staff of the municipality and the rest of the people waiting for him. Suddenly he noticed us on the other side of the street and without thinking twice come across the street and start talking to us: “what language do you speak and where you are from ?” – Asked Mr. Pranskietis.
The Professor answered – “we are from Israel but we also speak English”. His next question was “What are you doing in this town?” Prof. Friedlender explained that his father was born in Šeduva and that he wanted to visit and feel the place. Mr. Pranskietis said: “Then we have something in common, my father was also born in Šeduva and that is the reason of my visit today”.
After a short and nice conversation, Mr. Pranckietis wished us a nice trip and good luck.
Nice surprise for anybody’s birthday, isn’t it? Out tours inspire me by these little miracles and experiences that take place when you do not wait for them.
Then we continued our visit in Seduva and saw a memorial on the town square, renovated jewish cemetery and holocaust memorials.
by William Zhitkauskas