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Limmud FSU Presenters 2018

What is Limmud? What are the Principles? Also, learn some of our History and more.

Ruta Vanagaite Writer

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Ruta Vanagaite (born in 1955 in Šiauliai, Lithuania) graduated from the Moscow Theatre Institute (GITIS) with a cum laude degree in theatre criticism in 1978 and later studied theatre science in Helsinki University. She has extensive experience as a journalist, writer, publisher, theatre and TV producer, festival organizer, political PR consultant and producer of large-scale site-specific events. After the reestablishment of Lithuanian independence in 1991, she served as the artistic director of the State Youth Theatre and was co-founder and director of "LIFE," the first and largest theatre festival in the Baltic states. She later served as an adviser to the Prime Minister of Lithuania on public relations and was executive director of “Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009.” In addition, she ran several successful Lithuanian presidential, parliamentary and municipal election campaigns. In 1993, she was named “Woman of the Year” in Lithuania. More recently, she has focused on writing. Her first book exposed the sad state of elderly care in Lithuania and her second book, which dealt with the challenges faced by women at fifty, was a bestseller for more than two years with over 40 000 copies sold in two years. Ruta Vanagaite's third best-selling book, Mūsiškiai (Our People; Journey with an Enemy), co-authored world-famous with Israeli Nazi-hunter and Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, deals with the complicity of Lithuanians in Holocaust crimes and the efforts of all Lithuanian governments since independence to hide the role played by local Nazi collaborators. A runaway bestseller (19 000 copies) it has deeply affected public discourse on the participation of Lithuanians in the Shoa and has inspired a search for truth on this subject among many young Lithuanians. The new bestselling Ruta’s book published in October 2016 “Jis” (“Him”) is dealing with the problems facing contemporary men. It has been in TOP 10 list for more than a year. A new autobiographical book (15.000 copies) published two moths ago. One day after the launch of this book in October 2017 all Vanagaite’s books (6 titles, 27 000 copies altogether) were removed from the shelves in Lithuania after Ruta’s public comment about one of Lithuanian partisan leaders. This decision was made by her publisher - the biggest in Lithuania. None of her books are available in Lithuanian book stores any more.