I am Anikė – a poem by the poet Simon Dach. In my calm face, a keen eye can see many things: the sweet charm of youth, the gloomy days of life or the dreamy feeling of love. I stand here before you, as I once stood before Simon Dach, whose inspiration I was and, before long, found a place in his heart.

File size:  2.70 MB

Fascinated by my beauty, he repeated

“Tarawa Anike’s heart goes out to me
Full of pain and love.
Tarawa Anike, a precious treasure,
Flesh and blood and heaven for the soul.”

I have sailed the stormy sea of life for a long time. Orphaned in my younger days, I faced life’s trials early on; At the age of seventeen, I pledged my heart in the presence of God to one of the founders of Lithuanian literature, the priest Johann Patricius. On the day of the wedding, he was present in the church – Simon Dach, already a famous poet at that time, and a future professor at the University of Königsberg. When our eyes met, I could see that he was immediately smitten with me, and from then on, he couldn’t forget me. In his poems about me, Simon wrote:

“Tarawa Anike, she is dear to me,
she is my life, my wealth, my salary!”

I’ve been observing my surroundings here for a long time, since 1912. I was placed in one of the most beautiful places in Klaipėda – near the Drama Theatre. It’s true that for a while I was lost in obscurity… During the Second World War, on the balcony of the Klaipėda Drama Theatre behind me, the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler gave a speech. As it happened, on the same day, I mysteriously disappeared – I was removed before the then German leader could give his speech; People in the country were saying that during Adolf Hitler’s speech, I would be the only one who would turn my back on him, and that would make him very angry.

I was brought back here only 50 years later, in 1989. After all this time, I have changed a little, because the original of my sculpture was never found, and I have been reborn in the same form, but in the hands of another sculptor;