Europe, Guides

Baltic roundup

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, we’ve got a short guide to the Baltic capitals of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, which double both as stag party capitals and as, less festively, monuments to the twin ravages of Nazi and Communist oppression during the 20th century:

My most riveting memory of Vilnius is of the Museum of Genocide Victims, housed in the former prison of the old KGB building at 2a Auku St. Here, dissidents and human rights fighters were jailed and interrogated before being sent to gulag prisons and labor camps in the Soviet Union. The prison looks much as it did in 1987, when the last political prisoners were released; KGB officers’ uniforms still hang in a guardroom. Each dark, cramped cell once held as many as 20 prisoners, who subsisted on a daily diet of bread, watery cabbage and fish head soup, gruel and salted fish. Under the glass floor of the former execution cell are shoes, glasses and other personal artifacts of those who died.