A Walk in Jewish Kurkliai
Chapter 4 (for numbered house see the streetmap)
This empty spot is a prelude of the sad event which would take place in 1941 in the forest of Ukmerge, called: Pivonijas forest.( I will tell you about this forest later). This empty spot is still to be seen in Kurkliai at the Anyksciai road. After the entrance of the Germans in Kurkliai in 1941, very soon the Jewish families were taken from their houses and were kept here as a prisoner. They were imprisoned in a very big and large house, which doesn't exist anymore. After the war it served as a real prison. Nowadays, it is not to be found anymore, just the spot where the house stood.
There was a Jewish young man, called Srolis, Srolka who found shelter against the Germans in the house of the parents of Emilija Dudiene, ( the mother-in-law of Angele). He stayed there for four days, but finally he decided to give himself to the Germans. He was taken away and nobody knows what happened to him afterwards.
Emilija told us he prayed a lot and she remembers very well his tefillins (either of two small square leather boxes containing slips inscribed with scriptural passages and traditionally worn on the left arm and on the head by Jewish men during morning weekday prayers ).
He didnít want to stay, because he didnít want to endanger the lives of Emilijaís parents and her siblings and herself. Once you were caught ( hiding a Jewish human being), you were shot by the Germans, right away.In this house also were hidden Jewish refugees. Usually they stayed for one or two nights and then mostly joined the partisans or the Russian army. This house is at the boundary of Kurkliai.
This house reveals an exciting story:
She saw what was happening to the Jews of Kurkliai and decided to act.
She visited family in Kaunas and went to the ghetto in Kaunas. She went to the factory where the Germans forced the Jews to work for them. She took one of the Jewish youngsters, gave him womenís clothes to wear and distracted the guardians. As a miracle she could get the youngster out of the factory and they went to her house ( the house on the photo) near Kurkliai. She gave him a Lithuanian name, took care of him and he survived.
to chapter 5
© 2007 Dora Boom
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