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I am Annie – celebrated by the poet Simon Dach. If you have a keen eye, my calm face can tell you many things: the sweet charm of youth, life’s gloomy days, or the dreamy feeling of love. I am standing here in front of you as I once stood before Simon Dach, whom I inspired and, soon after, in whose heart I found a place.
Charmed by my beauty, he repeated:
“Annie of Tharau, her heart once again
To me has surrendered in joy and in pain.
Annie of Tharau, my riches, my good,
Thou, O my soul, my flesh, and my blood!”
For a long time, I sailed the stormy seas of life. I became orphaned in my youth and faced life’s difficulties from an early age. At the age of seventeen, in the presence of God, I promised my heart to one of the pioneers of Lithuanian writing, the priest Johan Patricius. On the wedding day, he was at the church – already a famous poet at the time and future professor at the University of Königsberg, Simon Dach. As soon as our eyes met, I could see that he was charmed by me and, from that moment, he could not forget me. In his verses devoted to me, Simon wrote:
“Annie of Tharau, my true love of old,
She is my life, and my goods, and my gold!”
I have been watching passers-by here for a long time, as far back as 1912. I was placed in one of the most beautiful locations in Klaipeda – near the theatre. Though, I did disappear for a while… During the Second World War, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler gave a speech on the balcony of the Klaipėda Theatre behind me. It just so happened that, on the same day, under mysterious circumstances, I disappeared – I was removed just before the German leader’s speech. People were saying that during Adolf Hitler’s speech, I would have been the only one with my back turned to him and that would have made him very angry.
50 years passed until I was brought back here in 1989. After such a long time, I changed somewhat because my original sculpture was never found, I was reborn in the same form but in the hands of another sculptor.
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