The Šiauliai Regional Jewish Community mourns the death of the mother of member Zinaida Barienė and sends its deepest condolences. We wish strength for the entire family at this difficult time.
Saida Mazu passed away October 28. She was born in 1941. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends.
The sad news has reached us Ričardas Baltusevičius passed away on October 25. He was born in 1965. Our deepest condolences to his brother Robertas and his family and friends.
The World Jewish Congress joins the European Jewish Congress and our Jewish communities throughout Europe in mourning the passing of long-time EJC secretary-general and friend Serge Cwajgenbaum z”l.
Serge was a pivotal figure for European Jewry who began his communal engagement with the French Jewish students union, joined the WJC in 1974, headed the French section of the World Jewish Congress and then served as director of World Jewish Congress Europe for many years before the founding of the European Jewish Congress in 1986.
Note: On October 3 Irena Gečienė passed away. The Lithuanian Jewish Community expresses its condolences to her daughter Jurgita and brother Eduardas.
Before the tragic losses of World War II, Joniškis in northern Lithuania was a very Jewish town known as the shtetl of Yanishok with a vibrant Jewish community. Nothing was left after the Holocaust which only a few Jews survived here, as was the case throughout Lithuania. Now only the two restored synagogues and the only living Jew recall that Yanishok.
They Donned White Armbands and Went to Shoot Jews
Irena Gečienė remembers November 27, 1944, when the war hadn’t ended yet, in the town of Žagarė.
Moisiejus Preisas, survivor of Auschwitz, Dachau and Stutthof, passed away September 24 at the age of 89. He was born February 27, 1930 and was a member of Lithuania’s Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Inmates. We send our deepest condolences to his son Leonidas and his grandchildren.
Preisas is believed to be the only Lithuanian Jew to have survived three concentration camps. He was an eye-witness to the brutal murder of the Jewish children in the Kaunas ghetto. He also witnessed an officer at a concentration camp chop people in half with a shovel.
Photo: Preisas with his collection of photographs of the Holocaust and concentration camps.
Several years ago we translated and published an interview and article about Moisiejus Preisas on the Lithuanian Jewish Community website here.
Solomonas Levinas has passed away. He was born in 1934. Our deepest condolences to his wife Valentina, sons Vladimiras and Leonidas and grandchildren. The members of the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners will not be able to fill the gape left by your loss, but we want to take a share of your pain.
Boris Volkov passed away August 29. He was born in 1935. Our condolences to his family and loved ones.
Gileras Babickis passed away August 19. He was born in 1934. Our deepest condolences to his friends and relatives.
With sadness we report the death of Inga Kundžmaitytė, long-time employee of the Jewish Culture and Information Center. Our sincere condolences to her family and friends.
We send our sincerest condolences to the Bagel Shop café’s Valentina Kot-Osipian on the death of her beloved mother. We wish the family strength in this time of difficulty.
Lithuanian Jewish Community
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.