Condolences

Condolences

Jefim Traiberg passed away August 6 following a long battle with illness. He was 73.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community sends our deepest condolences to his widow Ema and daughter Šeina.

Condolences

Icikas Jakobas passed away July 25. He was born in 1949. We send our sincere condolences to his wife Galina, daughter and grandson.

Condolences

With sadness we report the death of Estera Klabinaitė Grobman who lived in Israel. She lived a long, interesting and difficult life. Born in November of 1920 to a well-to-do Jewish family in Kaunas, she always called herself a Kaunas resident. Her parents had a large bakery before the Holocaust. Imprisoned in the Kaunas ghetto and Stutthof concentration camp, Grobman, who passed away at the age of 98, was an avid reader and shared her memories right up to the time of her death. In May, 2018, the rector of Vilnius University travelled to Israel to present her an honorary diploma.

We share in the pain of her friends and family and send our deepest condolences to her son Aron, her daughter-in-law Ele, her grandchildren Daniel and Saul and too many more to name. Although we seem to know that death is an inevitability, it always hits us painfully and unexpectedly. Rest in peace, Estera.

Claude Lanzmann Has Gone

Professor habil. Dr. Markas Petuchauskas, an inmate of the Vilnius ghetto who escaped dramatically and went into hiding, saw every play staged at the Vilnius ghetto theater. While organizing the International Art Days to Commemorate the Vilnius Ghetto Theater event, Dr. Petuchauskas invited Claude Lanzmann to travel to Lithuania and attend. The director agreed and, arriving in April of 1997, presented his film Shoah. This was the Lithuanian premiere of Lanzmann’s film, in the Cinema Program of Art Days. It was Lanzmann’s first and only trip to Vilnius, last only a few days during which he spoke directly with Lithuanian people and gave interviews. We present Professor Petuchauskas’s recollections:

Claude Lanzmann in Lithuania

The news struck like lightning. Claude Lanzmann has gone. The memory of his trip to Vilnius rose up inside me. This is how it was.

One of the first large international art projects organized by the Lithuanian Jewish Culture Club which I founded and directed was International Art Days in 1997, dedicated to commemorating the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Vilnius Ghetto Theater.

I invited Israeli writer Joshua Sobol, well known for his play Ghetto (about the Vilnius ghetto) and who wrote he had never been to Lithuania, to take part in the International Art Days event. Coming to Lithuania for the first time at my invitation, he had the chance to get up on the stage of the theater about which he had written and to tell how he created his play.

The opening ceremony for the Days, dedicated to him, was also held in the former ghetto theater hall.

Famous film director Claude Lanzmann from France, the creator of the globally acclaimed film Shoah, got up on the stage as well. I invited him along with French director Brigite Jaque, who was already known in Vilnius and an acquaintance of mine. It was pleasant to hear Lanzmann, a man who generally avoids lavishing much praise, speak such warm words about my work in holding the Days and about their importance for recalling notable pages in the history of the Shoah.

Condolences

Feofanija Bambiza passed away July 15. She was born in 1922. Our deepest condolences to her husband Aleksandras Asovskis.

Condolences

Vidmantė Jasukaitytė, Lithuanian Independence Act signatory, poet, writer, dramaturge and public figure, passed away July 14 following a long battle with illness. She had just turned 70 on July 10.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community express our deepest condolences to her children and friends. Jasukaitytė for many years lived at what was the HKP Nazi labor camp during World War II and created a number of works about the location. Her multimedia poetry installation “Subačius Street. Ghetto” was performed on September 24, 2015, the culmination of a week-long commemoration of Holocaust victims with events held around Vilnius.

Her event was held at the square outside her home where there is a monument to the Jewish inmates and victims of the HKP camp. Moving and still images were projected on the bare brick walls there as professional actors read selections from her poetry, testimonies of HKP camp inmates and Žeraldas Povilaitis’s oratory “Voice from Underground.”

Jasukaitytė had a number of plans for more Holocaust commemoration events including with musicians from the Lithuanian Jewish Community. Today we have a lost a talented writer, a good politician (who personally challenged Gorbachev about locking up Lithuanians avoiding Soviet military duty as mental patients) and a friend, and so we say, may you rest peacefully in the Lithuanian earth.

Condolences

The Lithuanian Jewish Community sincerely mourns the loss of Vitas Antanaitis, father of Monika Antanaitytė, Chief of Staff to the chairwoman of the LJC. Our deepest condolences to all his many friends and family, including Monika, her mother Violeta and brother Martynas. We wish you strength in spirit and spiritual comfort during this time of loss.

Condolences


With deep sadness we report the death in Israel of Michael Schemiavitz, born in Vilnius February 9, 1926. He was an inmate of the Vilnius ghetto. His parents were shot. Michael Schemiavitz was deported for forced labor to Germany. After the war he settled in Israel. He wrote a book about his experience of the Holocaust called Behind the Gate published in Tel Aviv in 2009.

Our deepest condolences to his family during this time of loss. We wish you strength.

Condolences

Panevėžys Jewish Community member Jelena Larionova-Vaizberg has passed away. For many years she was a microbiologist and doctor at the Panevėžys Infection Clinic. The entire Lithuanian Jewish Community mourns her loss and we send our deepest condolences to her sons and daughters.

Condolences

Boris Finkelson passed away June 30. He was born in 1941. Our deepest condolences to his wife Adelija and their children.

Condolences

We send our deepest condolences to Vanda Klug, a long-time and active member of the Panevėžys Jewish Community and chairwoman of the congress of aldermen, on the death of her beloved father. Our sincerest wishes for strength in this time of loss to her and all relatives and friends.

Condolences

On June 22 Etia Suvorova died. She was born in 1936. Our deepest condolences to her husband Cholem and daughter Marina.

Condolences

Ivanas Grinkevičius (1944-2018) passed away June 22. Our condolences to his wife Sira.

Condolences

The Lithuanian Jewish Community express our deepest condolences to the family members, son, daughter and grandchildren on the death of Svetlana Reches. Stay strong in this time of loss, loss of your mother and grandmother.

Lithuania Marks Day of Mourning and Hope on June 14

At 3 o’clock in the morning on June 14, 1941, NKVD officers began mass arrests of Lithuanian citizens. Entire families of Lithuanians and Jews were deported to Siberia deep in the Soviet Union. More than 30,000 people from Lithuania were taken away in one week. They were sent to Siberia in sealed rail cars.

Lithuania marks this anniversary as the Day of Mourning and Hope in honor of those who died in exile.

Condolences

With great sadness we report the death of Anastazija Votrinienė who passed away June 4. She was born in 1936. Our deepest condolences go to her sister, Jelena Jakiševa.

Condolences

In deep sadness we report Viktor Levin passed away April 24. He was born February 3, 1921. The Lithuanian Jewish Community sends our deepest condolences to his children and loved ones.

Condolences

Ela Kruglova passed away April 19. She was born January 12, 1947. Our condolences and sympathies to her daughter and son in this time of pain.

Condolences

Libė Pesė Lempert, born May 23, 1930, passed away April 16. Our deepest condolences to son Ilya Lempert, daughter-in-law Lara Lempert and all the grandchildren.

Condolences

Sara Ginaitė-Rubinson died April 2. She was born March 17, 1924. She joined the underground resistance in the Kaunas ghetto, fought as a Jewish partisan, married a fellow partisan and was a professor of political science at Vilnius University after the war. She moved to Canada with her two daughters in 1983 following the death of her husband. She was the author of numerous books and was an outspoken proponent of Holocaust education in Lithuania. Her book “Resistance and Survival: The Jewish Community in Kaunas, 1941–1944” was published in Canada and won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Holocaust History in 2008. She wrote several books about the Holocaust and lost Lithuanian Jewish communities in Lithuanian, including “Žydų tautos tragedijos Lietuvoje pradžia” [The Beginning of the Tragedy of the Jewish People in Lithuania].

The Lithuanian Jewish Community sends its deepest condolences to Sara’s entire family in Canada and her many friends in Lithuania. Her deep commitment to the memory of those murdered lives on.