Rescuers of Jews

Sindikaitytė-Minelgienė Stasė

Benediktas SINDIKAITIS (1904–1944)
Shot 29 September 1944 near Skirsnemunė, Jurbarkas subdistrict

Testimony of Stasė Sindikaitytė-Minelgienė:

I, Stasė Sindikaitytė-Minelgienė, was born in 1926 in Stakiai town, Raudonė subdistrict, Raseiniai district. My father Benediktas Sindikaitis was born in 1901.
My father made a hideout in hay, where the Jews of our town of Stakiai lived. Our house was located about 500 metres from the confluence of the Mituva and the Snietala streams. The house was built on the top of the hill. Our residents would leave at night and come back in the morning. Later they were joined by unfamiliar Jews. There was also a woman with a 7 years old daughter Irutė... One of them was Pranutė (Freda Karpul), and the other one was Marytė – they would show up from time to time.
One autumn day, our house was searched. They looked for the Jews in the basement under the house and by the stream. In the meantime, the fugitives were hiding in the barn. A few days later, a policeman came and said to my father: “Benadas, we know for sure that you have Jews on your farm. It’s only the matter of time before we find them. You know very well what will happen to you.” The Jews in the hideout heard everything. After dusk, father went to look around and our residents left shortly after. They left forever and father dismantled the hideout. A few days later, police commander came with a couple of Germans and dogs. They did not find anything, but they took father to Raseiniai and locked him up in the school. Father and a few more men tied up the sheets and escaped from the second floor. The guards saw the fugitives and opened fire, but my father made it home safely. No more Jews lived on our farm. They would come for food and leave. Pranutė and Marytė would also come.
When the front line approached, we were ordered by the soldiers to leave. We went to our relatives not far from Jurbarkas. Stakiai policemen were also evacuated there. Obviously, the policemen told German MPs that my father was a bad man and that he hid the Jews. This was enough for my father to get arrested. When the Germans were retreating, he was shot and buried near Skirsnemunė, Jurbarkas subdistrict 29 September 1944. When Russians came a week later, father was reburied in Jurbarkas cemetery.
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