Jonas Mekas was an American-Lithuanian poet, director and film critic who is referred to as the godfather of American avant-garde film and the originator of the diary film genre, founder and head of the world’s largest repository of experimental film Anthology Film Archives. He was a friend and associate of Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, George Maciunas, Yoko Ono, John Lennon and other key figures of the culture of the second half of the 20th century, many of whom he captured in his films. Fate dealt Mekas an extremely difficult hand, one that was shaped by the crazy twists and turns of the last century. He published an underground newspaper in a Lithuania first occupied by Soviet troops and then by the Nazis, and eventually this came to the attention of the Gestapo. In order to avoid arrest, he and his brother Adolfas tried to get to Vienna, but in Germany their carriage was hitched to a train carrying prisoners of war and sent to a labour camp near Hamburg, where they spent the last year of World War II. After the war they were sent to a camp for displaced persons and then emigrated to the U.S., where Mekas was destined to fundamentally change the landscape of independent American film. The experience of Soviet and German occupation left an indelible mark upon him. “I detest great states, great history, great wars,” said Mekas in the film Lost, Lost, Lost. The opposition he proposes is that of “small nations against large ones; poets against politicians.” Merkas adhered to this philosophy for his whole life, a life that came to an end on January 23, 2019. A small exhibition at the Sigmund Freud Museum of Dreams devoted to Mekas and his principles has been set up as part of the programme “The Collapse of Socialism: 30 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall.” The programme will include his five-hour film Lithuania and the Collapse of the USSR and a six-hour interview that he gave to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the U.S. not long before his death.