A commemorative event was held in honor of Righteous Gentile Ona Šimaitė February 12 in the Vilnius University library where she once worked.
As a librarian, Šimaitė carried books back and forth into and out of the Vilnius ghetto, and also messages. She also hid Jews and Jewish cultural treasures. Risking her life every day to help others, she was eventually discovered, arrested and tortured, but survived. She was one of the first Lithuanians to receive Yad Vashem’s Righteous among the Nations award in 1966.
Those attending the commemoration included Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky, Julija Šukys, poet, writer and translator Marius Burokas, editor Saulius Repečka, Judaica Studies Center director Dr. Lara Lempert, poetess Aušra Kaziliūnaitė, writer Saulius Stankevičius, literary critic Virginija Cibarauskaitė, members of the Jewish community and numerous others. Modestas Saukaitis, who does art restoration professionally, unveiled his own portrait of Šimaitė in the antechamber of the Lithuanian Studies Reading Room at Vilnius University during the commemoration.