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The House of Pranas Genys
Pranas Genys, a poet, journalist, museum director, photographer and founder, builder, and first director of the Samogitian Museum Alka (founded in Telšiai, in 1932), constructed and lived in this building between 1945 and 1951. On March 1st, 1992, a commemorative flag was placed and unveiled on the building, in which Genys lived.
Pranas Genys was born in 1902 to a family of noble farmers. During his studies in the Telšiai Gymnasium, he wrote poems and was an active student. When Genys graduated, he taught in Mažeikiai and Ukmergė for two years, after which he enrolled in the Faculty of Humanitarian Studies of Kaunas University. However, he did not graduate because he fell ill and could not control his legs due to the progressive leg paralysis. Fortunately, that did not break his spirits. He acquired a two-wheeled carriage and a horse, which helped him to get around: to meet friends, to partake in cultural and public activities and to lecture. Genys wrote poems and has even published a collection of poetry, entitled Džiugo varpai. Besides artistic activities, he was also the editor in the Telšiai-based magazine called Šatrija. Since Genys spent a good amount of time interacting with theatre actors in Telšiai, he also wrote several plays. Among many other things, Genys organised literary nights and has even founded a museum in Telšiai. He not only organised the construction of the museum, but also found as well as transported many exhibits himself, with some help from his steed. During the war, Genys helped the Telšiai Jews, who were in danger, hide. He also made sure that raiders do not steal any valuables from the museum.
After the war, namely in 1945, Genys was relieved of his duties in the museum and had to leave Telšiai in 48 hours. Therefore, he travelled to Plungė, where he built the house on the bank of the Babrungas River and where he hoped of establishing a museum. While living in Plungė, he continued writing poetry, but he never showed it to anyone because of the persecution. Soviet government officials offered him to start writing poetry based on communist ideology, but Genys refused and never betrayed his homeland. In 1951, Genys was arrested and brought to the Šilutė Macikai concentration camp. He was charged with affiliation with the nationalist party and the Iron Wolf Organisation as well as with the creation of anti-Soviet art and partaking in anti-Soviet activities. P. Genys was sentenced to 25 years in prison, his citizen's rights were revoked and his property was confiscated. However, since he was disabled, he only survived until 1952 in the concentration camp. He was buried in the general victims cemetery within the Macikai camp.
Source: Pranas Genys / Laima Valatkienė // Muziejininkystės biuletenis. – 2002, no. 1. – p. 42–44.
Submitted: Plungės rajono savivaldybės viešoji biblioteka | http://www.plunge.rvb.lt/lt/
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