Lithuanian lost letters from 1960s, 70s delivered decades later

Letters that were lost for decades have finally been delivered

According to Reuters, 18 letters from the 1960s and 70s were discovered over the summer in a former post office in Vilnius, Lithuania, while a wall in the building was being demolished. 

The owner of the building, Jurgis Vilutis, told Reuters that he thinks a postal worker probably searched the letters for money and hid them. 

When the letters were found, Vilutis said he reached out to the post office, who decided to try to track the recipients down.

“I’m so happy they got interested,” Vilutis told Reuters.

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According to the outlet, the letters were from pen pals or relatives who had moved out of Lithuania, which was part of the Soviet Union at the time. 

A collection of 18 letters that were sent about 50 years ago via the Lithuanian Postal service were recently found hidden in a wall. 

A collection of 18 letters that were sent about 50 years ago via the Lithuanian Postal service were recently found hidden in a wall.  (REUTERS/Janis Laizans)

A letter sent to Lithuanian woman Genowefa Klonowska around 50 years ago is pictured.

A letter sent to Lithuanian woman Genowefa Klonowska around 50 years ago is pictured. (REUTERS/Janis Laizans)

After months of tracking the recipients down – since street names and numbers have changed –, post office workers in Vilnius were finally able to deliver only a few of the 18 letters last month, according to Reuters.

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Five recipients were found and in some cases, post office workers delivered the letters to the children of the intended recipients.

“We felt a moral duty to do this,” Deimante Zebrauskaite, Lithuania Post’s head of the customer experience department, told Reuters.

Genowefa Klonowska recently received this letter, along with a paper doll and a handmade colored rose, which were sent around 50 years ago. 

Genowefa Klonowska recently received this letter, along with a paper doll and a handmade colored rose, which were sent around 50 years ago.  (REUTERS/Janis Laizans)

Building owner Jurgis Vilutis shows a hole in the wall where the letters were found in the former post office building in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

Building owner Jurgis Vilutis shows a hole in the wall where the letters were found in the former post office building in Vilnius, Lithuania.  (REUTERS/Janis Laizans)

“One lady compared the experience to receiving a message from a bottle thrown into sea,” Zebrauskaite added. 

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One recipient, Genovefa Klonovska, received a letter from a pen pal in Poland that was stamped in 1970, when Klonovska was 12.

Letter recipient Genowefa Klonowska holds a letter received around 50 years later in Vilnius, Lithuania, January 25, 2022.

Letter recipient Genowefa Klonowska holds a letter received around 50 years later in Vilnius, Lithuania, January 25, 2022. (REUTERS/Janis Laizans)

The letter included a handmade colored rose and two paper dolls, according to Reuters.

“I thought that someone was pranking me,” Klonovska, who is currently in her 60s, told the outlet.

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According to Reuters, Klonovska doesn’t remember her pen pal and thinks their relationship ended when Klonovska never got her letter.

“So good that the letter was inconsequential,” she told Reuters. “The loss was not life-changing.”

She added: “What if they delivered a lost letter from a suitor to his love, and their wedding never happened?”

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