“It has been more than ten years since I don’t live in Kaunas, but when I come back, it never feels like I was away for a long time. The city changes, yet over the years, I kept a strong and warm connection with it.
Maybe this is because I have spent my childhood in the very heart of the city, or perhaps, because of my interest in architecture – I have accumulated a lot of pre-war postcards and photographs of independent Lithuania – or maybe that’s simply because Kaunas is my hometown. It is difficult to answer this question, but I am very happy that I grew up and matured in Kaunas.
In my childhood, I became interested in Lithuanian postage stamps. I was very fascinated by their aesthetic appearance. Later, I have obtained several old Kaunas postcards, then, a few more – that’s how I became interested in the old images of Kaunas. The first postcards were of familiar city views: Kaunas Castle, Musical Theater, Town Hall. Today, the images of buildings that have not survived or are difficult to recognise are the most interesting for me.
People scattered by war found comfort in sending postcards with the views of their native city to each other. Each card is unique and has its own story. Sometimes I am lucky to buy an entire correspondence and get acquainted with the relatives of my postcards’ heroes. A few years ago, I bought a postcard that was sent from Kaunas to Marionas Šilingauskas, Uruguay, in 1929. Through a social network, I was able to find and contact the relatives of M. Šilingauskas, who still live in Uruguay. They were very pleased to see the postcards that were sent to their grandfather.“ – Romanas Zontovičius.
Romanas Zontovičius is a Lithuanian business person who works in Silicon Valley. He is a partner at the venture capital fund Nextury Ventures and has worked on the mobile application distribution portal GetJar for many years.