Condolences

Leaders, Ambassador Send Condolences on Death of Tobijas Jafetas

lzinios.lt, BNS

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.

Paying Last Respects to Tobijas Jafetas

Paying Last Respects to Tobijas Jafetas

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.

Condolences

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.

Tobijas Jafetas, Chairman of Union of Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners, Dies

Tobijas Jafetas, Chairman of Union of Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners, Dies

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.

Condolences

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.

Condolences

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.

Condolences

The Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners send their condolences to Rozeta Ramonienė on the loss of her beloved son Aldas. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

Aaron Klug Dead at 92

Aaron Klug Dead at 92

One of several Lithuanian Jews to have received the Nobel prize, Aaron Klug passed away November 20, 2018, at the age of 92.

Klug was born in Želva (aka Zelva, Zelvas) near the town of Ukmergė (Vilkomir) in the Vilnius region of Lithuania on August 11, 1926, to Lazar and Bella (née Silin) Klug. Lazar Klug received both a secular and Jewish religious education, and raised and sold cattle as his father did. Aaron Klug wrote he remembered nothing of his place of birth, and the family moved to Durban, South Africa, when Aaron was about two. Aaron Klug was graduated from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg with a bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry and biology. He married dancer and choreographer Liebe Bobrow in 1948. Klug received a master’s degree from the University of Cape Town where he did work on X-ray crystallography. He then went to the UK, where he received a PhD in solid state physics at the University of Cambridge in 1952. Klug then worked with X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin at Birkbeck College, University of London, exploring the structure of the tobacco mosaic virus. The nucleoproteins of the virus were at that time too big for imaging with X-ray crystallography but too small to see with optical microscopes. Electron microscopes could only provide two-dimensional images, and Klug pioneered a method for making 3-D images, called crystallographic electron microscopy, for which he received the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1982. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988. Besides his many other contributions, he and his colleagues were responsible for mapping about one third of the human genome in the Human Genome Project. He taught at Cambridge and served as the president of Britain’s Royal Society from 1995 to 2000. He also worked with Francis Crick, who received the Nobel prize with Watson for discovering the helical structure of DNA.

Condolences

The Lithuanian Jewish Community has received the following message and we express our deepest condolences over the death of Judith Schlesinger, wife of the esteemed rabbi Elyakim Schlesinger, president of the Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe.

§§§

It is with great pain and sadness that we announce the passing of the great Lady Rebbetzin Mrs. Judith Schlesinger, wife of our esteemed president Rabbi Elyakim Schlesinger after recent illness.

The esteemed Rabbi Elyakim Schlesinger and his sons including Rabbi Yeshaya Schlesinger are spending the week of shiva (seven days of mourning) at their house.

With best wishes,

Rabbi Abraham Ginsberg
executive director, Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe

When Moshe (Misha) Arens Called from Vilnius, or, the End of World War II

When Moshe (Misha) Arens Called from Vilnius, or, the End of World War II

by Sergejus Kanovičius

The internet didn’t exist yet, and the way to connect from Israel with parents and friends left in Lithuania was by fax or telephone. There wasn’t a surplus of money and both means were very expensive, so hearing the voice of a loved one was the greatest gift; letters are fine, but human nature it seems is such that we need living emotion, moments which dissolve in the past… When you hear the voice of your Father, or Mother, or grandfather, it feels as if you are with them, much more than reading a letter which has been in transit for a long time. Sometimes the people who helped us in so many ways in saving our son knew the longing for loved ones, they knew what longing means, because they themselves had experienced these separations and knew what they meant. The independency of Lithuania was going slowly, so it was expensive to call from Israel to Lithuania and from Vilnius to Tel Aviv. As I remember it, from Vilnius you longer had to wait for a previously ordered international call, all you had to do was dial 8, wait for the tone and then enter the number. But it wasn’t raining and isn’t raining money anywhere, neither there where rivers of milk flow along banks of honey, nor there where pack-ice gently caresses the banks of the Neris. Sometimes the worst thing you could pull out of the mail box was a nostalgic numerical reminder for some month, sometimes the telephone bills were such that you wanted to take that apparatus to a bank and lock it in the safe.

Moshe Arens, Former Defense Minister and Envoy to Washington, Dead at 93

Moshe Arens, Former Defense Minister and Envoy to Washington, Dead at 93

by Haviv Rettig Gur

“I loved you as a son loves a father,” says Netanyahu of his mentor, a founding member of Likud credited with shepherding advances in Israel’s military capabilities

Moshe Arens, an English-speaking US-educated aeronautical engineer who rose to become Israel’s three-time defense minister and mentored a young Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of his career, died on Monday at age 93.

Born in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 1925, Arens moved with his family to Riga, Latvia, in 1927, then to the US just before World War II in 1939.

Full story here.

Condolences

This year the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Inmates lost ten of our members. The tenth was Anastazija Baltusevičienė of Kaunas, mother of Robertas Baltusevčius. She was born June 17, 1942, and passed away on December 25, 2018. Our deepest condolences to her son Robertas and sisters Filomena, Liucija, Elžbieta and Elena.

Condolences

Amos Oz (aka Amos Klausner) passed away December 28, 2018, following a battle with cancer. He was born in Jerusalem on May 4, 1939. His father was a Litvak from the Vilnius area who studied comparative literature. Our condolences to his friends, family and many fans.

Amos Oz, Saintly Intellectual Who Turned Israel’s Reality into Art, Dead at 79

Amos Oz, Saintly Intellectual Who Turned Israel’s Reality into Art, Dead at 79

(JTA)–Amos Oz would often speak in the kind of tossed-off epigrams that come only with a lot of practice. But just when you wanted to smack him for his breezy erudition, he would redeem himself with a flash of spot-on–and hilarious–self-awareness.

In 2011, speaking at the 92nd Street Y about the novel he’d just published in English, “Scenes from Village Life,” Oz said that 99 percent of the typical media coverage of Israel involves extremist settlers, ultra-Orthodox fanatics and brutal soldiers “and one percent saintly intellectuals like myself.”

Oz died Friday at age 79, having won nearly every literary prize short of the Nobel and having become perhaps Israel’s most widely translated author. If Jews were in the canonization business, Oz would have earned his wings (halo? robe? my theology is shaky) on the basis of “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” his 2002 novel cum memoir. Like so much of what he wrote, the book is not just autobiographical, but a biography of Israel itself. Although his story ends before he is out of his teens, the young Amos bears witness to the destruction of European Jewry, the height of the British mandate, a Hebrew renaissance in Jerusalem, the great Zionist debates (and debaters) of the day, the rise of the kibbutz movement and the birth of the state.

Full text here.

Condolences

Anastazija Jadvyga Baltusevičienė passed away December 25. She was born in 1942. Our deepest condolences to her children and sisters.

Condolences

Marija Rusak, born in 1935, passed away December 27. Our deepest condolences to her husband Leonid and daughter Alla.

Condolences

With great sadness we report the death of Šlioma Šperling on December 19. He was born in 1940. Our deepest condolences to the Community’s long-time volunteer doctor Liusia Šperling on the death of her husband, and to their daughter.

Condolences

Viktor Chramcov, born in 1927, a Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned at Dachau, has passed away. The Lithuanian Jewish Community sends our deepest condolences to his wife Svetlana and daughters Neli and Tatjana.

Condolences

Our deepest condolences to Social Programs Department director Mikhail Segal on the death of his grandmother. We are with you in this time of great loss.

Condolences


Judita Rozin passed away December 12, 2018, following a battle with illness and a recent debilitating fall. She was born January 8, 1937 in the Birobidzhan Autonomous Jewish oblast (the Birobidzhan ASSR) located in the Soviet Far East. She was graduated from High School No. 6 in Vilnius in 1955 and matriculated at the Philology Faculty at Vilnius University specializing in Russian language and literature. After being graduated she worked for the next 32 years at the Vilnius Teachers School in Naujoji Vilna. She worked at the History Department of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum from 1992 until 2012, and volunteered at the museum even in retirement up to the present time. Judita was unusually fluent in English even by current Lithuanian standards and used to say she preferred being called Judith; “That’s my real name in Hebrew.”.

A wake and funeral for Judith will be held in hall 4 at the Vilnius Funeral Home located at Olandų street no. 22 on Friday, December 14, starting at 11:00 A.M. The coffin will be transported to the Jewish cemetery at Sudervės road no. 28 at 1:34 P.M.

Rest in peace, Judith.