Sad news has arrived from Šiauliai: Righteous Gentile Meilutė Zofia Kalendraitė-Levinskienės has passed away. The Lithuanian Jewish Community extends our deepest condolences to her family, including her husband, children, grandchildren, her sister who is also a Righteous Gentile and to her many friends.
Her father Andrejus Kalendra, enthusiastic about the ideas of the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, organized the rescue of the Gordimer family from the Šiauliai ghetto. Andrejus Kalendra was a man who was known and respected throughout the area. He organized the operation to save the family together with other members of his family and friends following the Children’s Aktion in the ghetto on November 5, 1943. Six-year-old Sholem was carried out the ghetto in a potato bag and hidden at the Kalendra estate near Žarėnai. He remained there until the summer of 1945.
Due to the efforts of the Kalendra family, their friends and their acquaintances, the entire Gordimer family was saved and went to the USA in 1945.
In 2005 then-president Valdas Adamkus awarded the Kalendra sisters Lithuania’s Life-Saver’s Cross award.
Photo: Gordimer family: Yitzhak, Sonya, children Sholem and George, USA.
Photo: Monika Kalendraitė-Jakutienė (left), Zofija Levinskienė next to president.