When Bunka returned to Plunge in 1946, he found only 186 of the town's prewar Jewish population of 2,400. His mother and two sisters were among them. Bunka began work as a carptenter, and in his spare time began to carve wooden figures in the folk-art style of the Zemaite region. These early pieces paid tribute to workers and fit the political climate of the time.

Later, as the times began to change Bunka redirected his art to reflect his heritage. He created in wood a village of Jewish characters - people whom he remembered and imagined from his youth were reborn in the small wooden sculptures he made. However, his greatest work are the memorial totems at Kaushan.

Photos © 1998 Laurence Salzmann

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