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House of Statesman Jonas Norkaitis

Kaunas, Lithuania
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Lietuvos delegacija vyksta i Maskva deryboms. 1939 m. spalio 7 d. Is kaires: pirmas - Uzsienio reikalu ministerijos Ekonomikos departamento direktorius J. Norkaitis, antras - kariuomenes vadas generolas S. Rastikis, trecias - uzsienio reikalu ministras J. Urbsys, ketvirtas - ministro pirmininko pavaduotojas K. Bizauskas.

Jonas Norkaitis is an interwar Lithuanian economist and diplomat, a long-standing and influential statesman who was actively participating not only in domestic politics but also in international negotiations. In 1919 he came back to Lithuania from St. Petersburg. He was 27 years old when he started to work as the head of the Jurbarkas and Virbalis customs offices. In 1923 when the Klaipėda region was connected to Lithuania, he was appointed as a representative of the Ministry of Finance of the Klaipėda Region and Head of Klaipeda Customs. In 1925 J. Norkaitis moved to Kaunas, and till the construction of his own house in 1935, he was the head of the Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Finance. J. Norkaitis’ curriculum vitae shows a number of memberships in the activities of economic organizations – he contributed to the establishment of AB “Lietuvos cukrus” (Lithuanian sugar), was elected as its chairman, and also belonged to the Economic Commission of the Lithuanian Energy Committee. Unfortunately, like many government officials who invested in real estate and their homes in the 1930s, the Norkaičiai family did not enjoy their home for long. As in most cases, only the directions of destiny were different – soon after the occupation, some roads led to Siberia, others – to the West. In 1939 J. Norkaitis left his house to go to Moscow to negotiate, but already in the summer of 1940, with all his family, he was forced to retreat to Germany.

The building, which was designed by Arnas Funks, had a semi-basement/ground floor, two regular floors and an attic. The first floor on one side is the ground floor on the other side due to the hilly plot in the building is located. The house was distinguished by its luxury. On the ground/first floor of the building, there is a separate entrance with a lobby, from which the stairs lead to the apartment occupying the entire upper floor, which is arranged around the central staircase. On the side of the yard, there is a bedroom with a balcony, a bathroom, a children’s room, a kitchen, a buffet room and an external staircase for the usage of the servants. The room for the maid is arranged in the shed. Close to the street, there is an office with a balcony, a guest room and a dining room with hinged doors. There is also a spacious apartment on the first floor for rent.

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