With deep sadness we report the death of Eduardas Solovjovas following chronic illness. The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Panevėžys Jewish Community send condolences to widow Janina, their daughter and their grandchildren. The family’s loss is our loss.
With sadness we report the death of long-time Community member Ela Čumanova on July 8. She was born in 1953. Our deepest condolences to her late husband Michailas and her sons Jevgenijus and Aleksandras.
With sadness and regret we report the death of Sonia Kozlova on May 26. She was born in 1941.
Lithuanian Jewish Community members gathered at the Jewish cemetery on Sudervės road in Vilnius May 8 to commemorate those who fell fighting the Nazis and the victims of fascism.
They assembled at a monument to Vilnius ghetto FPO (Fareinikte partizaner organizatsye) leader Yitzhak Vitenberg and partisan Sheyna Madeisker.
LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky recalled the number of Jews living in Lithuania before the Nazi occupation and the horror and tragedy of the majority who were murdered. Jewish partisan Fania Brancovskaja spoke in Yiddish about the painful experience of the war and the loss of family. “Do not forget those who were murdered, they fought for your freedom,” she said.
With sadness we report the death of Arkadij Buchman on May 7. He was born in 1931. Our deepest condolences to his wife and loved ones.
Photo: Drupas in his Zlin 326A airplane, 2015.
With deep sadness we report the death of Righteous Gentile Vladas Drupas who rescued Jews as a young man. He was a rescuer and a pilot who flew up until his last breath. Let him go to his reward together with the other Righteous Gentiles who have passed on.
Drupas never considered himself a hero for rescuing Jews during the Holocaust. It was like pulling teeth to get him to even talk about the events of 1943 and 1944 in Šiauliai and environs where a silent battled against the Nazis took place in hiding individual Jews and Jewish families.
Virginija Skučaitė wrote about Drupas in the Kauno Diena newspaper in 2016. It was one of the last publications about the courageous man:
Winged Senior Saved Jewish Lives in Youth
by Virginija Skučaitė
October 3, 2016
Famous Russian actress Elina Bystritskaya died April 26 at the age of 91. From 1953 to 1958 she was an actress at the Russian Drama Theater in Vilnius. Her father was the military doctor Abraham Bystritsky and her mother was Ester. Both are buried at the Jewish cemetery in Vilnius.
She passed away following prolonged illness.
She was born April 4, 1928, in Kiev. Her father hoped she would become a doctor or teacher and she was graduated with a degree in medicine, later working as a midwife and gynecologist. After delivering 15 babies, she decided to go into drama instead, and matriculated at the Kiev Theater Institute. A great beauty, her friends nicknamed her the Blue Sock. Initially following graduation she wasn’t able to find work, but began working in Vilnius in 1953. Fame shone on her when she acted in the film adaption of And Quietly Flows the Down (released in parts in 1957 and 1958). She was sent to Moscow to act and did so on the stage and film.
Nobel prize-winning Litvak and American neurologist Paul Greengard passed away April 13. Although he was born in New York City, he was descended from Jews from Virbalis, Lithuania. He won the Nobel prize for physiology and medicine in 2000. He was born December 11, 1925 and died at the age of 93.
His mother died in child-birth and his father Benjamin remarried an Episcopalian. While studying at MIT Paul helped develop warning systems for attacks by Japanese kamikaze pilots. After World War II he attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he was graduated in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics. He decided to forgo graduate school in physics because post-war physics research was predominantly about nuclear weapons, and became interested in biophysics. Greengard began work on the molecular and cellular function of neurons. In 1953 he received his PhD and began postdoctoral work at the University of London, Cambridge University and the University of Amsterdam. In 2000 Greengard, Arvid Carlsson and Eric Kandel were awarded the Nobel prize for physiology and medicine for their discoveries made in chemical and electric signal transduction in the nervous system. Paul Greengard used his Nobel Prize honorarium to help fund the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, an award for women scientists named after his mother and established in 2004 to shine a spotlight on exceptional women in science. He is survived by two sons. Our deepest condolences to his family, friends and many colleagues.
Our deepest condolences on the death of long-time Lithuanian Jewish Community member Edit Ptašek to her son Danielius and loved ones.
With sadness we report the death of Herzl Gurvich at 72. Our deepest condolences to his son Vulf Gurvich. The funeral is being held in Hadera in Israel.
Panevėžys Jewish Community member Vanda Klug has passed away. Our deepest condolences to her son and grandchildren on the loss of their beloved mother and grandmother.
How does one became a creator of music? And will there ever be a good answer to this question? Everyone studies under the same teachers, learns the same things, hears the same music playing around them, and so canons are born which lodge deeply in our minds and from which everyone draws. But all of our destinies are different: one person who is accustomed to being guided by mentors becomes unable to disentangle himself from these canons and continues on exclusively in that which he has learned and knows, while another, eager to show his courage, tramples upon everything which was sacred to the generation of his teachers, that which he was taught. And only a very few take to speaking in their own voice, unconcerned whether this conforms to fashion or if there is a demand for it, unconcerned if this clashes with the truths and rules invented by someone else.
Anatolijus Šenderovas was one of those few who travel off on their own path. He was free to accomplish the goals he set for himself without trying to prove himself to anyone, he created that which he felt he must create. He immortalized in his work his experience and that which he held dear. Perhaps that’s why his music is so recognizable and why it cannot be confused with anyone else’s.
Lithuanian composer and conductor Anatolijus Šenderovas passed away in the US on March 25. His funeral will be held in Vilnius on Friday, March 29.
The funeral begins at 10:00 A.M. in the Jewish section of the Sudervės road cemetery in Vilnius, with speeches and burials starting at 11:30 A.M. (procession with seven stops according to Jewish tradition). A bus will be made available to ferry mourners to the cemetery leaving from Pylimo street no. 4 at 9:30 A.M.
With deep sadness we report the death of Lithuanian composer Anatolijus Šenderovas at the age of 73. Born in Russia in 1945, Šenderovas was graduated from the Lithuanian Conservatory in 1967. Works by this Jewish composer have been performed at numerous international music festivals and in the great concert halls of the world. He received the Lithuanian National Prize in 1997. Our deepest condolences to his family, many friends and many fans.
Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky told BNS Tobijas Jafetas was “a highly respected, active and refined person of the community” who had met her father when World War II began. “As I recall his father had a business in England and came to Kaunas just before the war started. It so happened that Jafetas and my father were at a [children’s summer] camp in Palanga when the war broke out. Neither was able to flee and they were taken to an orphanage in Kaunas,” Kukliansky said.
Israeli ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon expressed condolences over Jafetas’s loss on facebook.
Jafetas and his mother were imprisoned in the Slobodka ghetto in Kaunas in World War II. He told the story of how he escaped the ghetto in 1944 after hiding in an attic. The Katinskai family in Vilnius rescued him.
LJC chairwoman Kukliansky said Jafetas spoke German and English and maintained close contacts with survivors of ghettos in Europe.
Those wishing to pay their respects to the late Tobijas Jafetas and to sit with his family members are invited to come to the Nutrūkusi styga funeral home at Ąžuolyno street no. 10 in Vilnius (next to the Sudervės road cemetery) from 3:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. on Wednesday or from 8:00 Am till 12:30 P.M. on Thursday when his mortal remains will be laid to rest.
Frida Sima Alesina passed away March 4. She was born July 12, 1942. Our deepest condolences to her son Ernestas and all her family members and friends.
The Lithuanian Jewish Community has learned with great sadness of the loss of chairman of the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Inmates Tobijas Jafetas. Born in 1930, he was still a child when World War II came to Lithuania. He often said he only survived because of help from Righteous Gentiles.
Although he was from Vilnius, he was with his mother Berta and uncle Lazeris in Kaunas when the Nazis arrived. Other relatives were imprisoned in Latvia. All of this family was murdered and he was the only survivor.
He, his mother and the other Jews of Kaunas were forced into the Slobodka ghetto.
“Life in the ghetto was very hard and one of the biggest problems was figuring out how to get enough to eat,” Jafetas said one year ago. “Tradition and the necessity of maintaining Jewish identity were very important to us under such conditions. In April of 1944 ghetto prisoners sensed danger and the ghetto was surrounded and the guard increased. I managed to escape death by hiding in an attic under hay for rabbits being raised there. The soldiers didn’t find me. In April of 1944 my mother told me to flee the ghetto as quickly as possible.
“I was 14 when I escaped. My aunt and uncle, from Kaunas, had moved to Vilnius at that time. My aunt’s father was a military officer from the time of Smetona and asked his sister living in Druskininkai, Kotryna Katinskaitė, to take me to Vilnius. The Katinskai family saved me. When the front approached my uncle travelled to Šilalė where my cousin was working and my aunt and I stayed in Vilnius. The front arrived and we hid from the bombardment in the St. James Church in Vilnius. That’s how we survived. After the war I lived with the Katinskai family until I finished high school.”
His experience of the Holocaust didn’t break Tobijas. Wise, sincere and always with a warm and beautiful smile–that’s how the Jewish community will remember Tobijas Jafetas as we express our shock and condolences over his loss to his daughter Judita, all his grandchildren and everyone who had the honor to encounter this sensitive and extraordinary person.
With sadness we report Leonidas Pozinas passed away March 1 in Israel. He was born June 13, 1940. Lithuanian Jews remember him as an active participant in the restoration of the Lithuanian Jewish Community and public figure. He was the deputy chairman of the Lithuanian Jewish Cultural Association.
The Lithuanian Jewish Community offers deepest condolences to his widow Tamara, daughter Ela and son Benas.
With great sadness we report the death of Liudmila Grafman after a long battle with chronic illness. She was born in 1952. The Panevėžys Jewish Community sends our deepest condolences to her husband Michailas, daughters Julija and Simona, son Jurijus and her grandchildren and friends for their loss. We mourn with the family.