aA
As the Seimas of Lithuania on Tuesday held a commemorative sitting to mark the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Kaunas and Šiauliai Ghettos, Tobijas Jefetas, chairman of the Lithuanian union of former ghetto and concentration camp prisoners, shared his memories as one of very few Jewish children who survived the war.
Kaunas Ghetto survivor shares memories as Lithuania marks Holocaust day
© Reuters/Scanpix

Jefetas told how he managed to escape during the so-called children's operation at the Kaunas Ghetto. He later pretended to be deaf and numb and was taken under a false name from Kaunas to Vilnius where he hid at the home of the Katinskai family.

"The children's operation started, and I managed to escape. (…) When mother returned, she said I can no longer stay in the ghetto and need to go. She told me I would have to go to the Silva plant and my savers will take me from there. I successfully managed to slip through the fence and went by foot to the Silva plant. I said my last goodbye to my mother. I was met there by Kotryna and Ona from the Katinskai family. They saved me, took me from the Silva plant and explained that I have to be deaf and numb. A priest provided documents that I am not Tobijas Jefetas but Jonas Vaitkevičius, and they brought me by train to Vilnius and hid me in Kaštonų Street where the Katinskai family lived. They hid me," Jefetas said.

Although his mother promised they would meet again soon, he never saw his mother again as she was shot dead by a policeman while trying to escape from the ghetto just before its liquidation.

During the parliamentary commemoration, Jefetas thanked his savers, the Katinskai family, who also gave him an education. Juozas Katinskas and Kotryna Katinskaitė have been named Righteous Among the Nations for saving Jefetas.

Lithuania marks the National Memorial Day for the Genocide Victims of the Lithuanian Jews on 23 September, the day of liquidation of the Vilnius Ghetto in 1943.

About 90 percent of Lithuania's pre-war Jewish population of over 200,000 were annihilated by the Nazis in Lithuania during WWII.

BNS
Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją skelbti, cituoti ar kitaip atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB "BNS" sutikimo neleidžiama.
|Populiariausi straipsniai ir video

Actor Gediminas Girdvainis passes away

Lithuanian theater and film actor Gediminas Girdvainis died at the age of 76 on Wednesday, the head...

Collaboration counts at school and beyond

There is a strong connection between contextualized learning and the approaches to teaching....

Government initiates campaign 'Thank You, Lithuania' plans short concerts

Lithuania's government is initiating a thank campaign „Thank You, Lithuania" and plans organizing...

Head of opera theater estimates quarantine losses

Lithuania's National Opera and Ballet Theater has probably lost one million euros because of the...

Director Kaupinis wins German film festival's best director award

Lithuanian film director Karolis Kaupinis won the best director award for his debut feature, Nova...

Top news

Foreign minister: EU's external borders unlikely to open until late June

The European Union 's external borders may remain closed until late June, Lithuanian Foreign...

Lithuania mulls setting up virtual flag airline

The Lithuanian Transport Ministry proposes to set up a virtual flag carrier to reduce the country's...

Colombian student in Vilnius: once you go to other countries, you open a door that may be difficult to close

Colombian student Jorge Andres Agudelo Zuniga came to Vilnius in 2018 for studies via Australia. He...

Actor Gediminas Girdvainis passes away

Lithuanian theater and film actor Gediminas Girdvainis died at the age of 76 on Wednesday, the head...

3 new coronavirus cases in Lithuania

On Wednesday, 3 new COVID-19 cases were detected in Lithuania. Overall, Lithuania has already...

|Maža didelių žinių kaina