Rescuers of Jews

Šalkauskas Pranas

and Antanas Šalkauskas‘ sons – Jonas, Pranas, Juozapas

Before the war Ida Krubelnik (1927) lived with her mother, grandmother, 2 sisters and a brother in Kelmė. In the Akzia that took place in August 1941 she and her sister Bat-Sheva lost all their close relatives. The girls started wandering in the area, sleeping in barns, getting some food from some of their former neighbors. In late autumn 1941 they accepted the proposal of one of their school friends to become Christians for, as they believed, it will help them to survive. In 1942 they were both accepted by Elena Kaušytė, a devout Catholic who helped not only the Krubelnik sisters but other Jews as well. After some time, when a search was conducted in Elena’s house, Ida and Bat-Sheva fled and split away, everyone finding a separate shelter. Ida found herself in Suokiai village where she was accepted by Aleksandra and Antanas Šalkauskas. The 3 sons of the family were from Antanas’s first wife who died in 1930. Raising three boys, Aleksandra was glad to get a girl to the household and treated Ida as if she were her own daughter. Antanas Šalkauskas gave Ida the birth certificate of his late daughter, Genė Šalkauskaitė, which gave her the opportunity to live openly. After staying several months in Suokiai, Ida moved to the monastery in Krakes, still using the certificate of Genė Šalkauskaitė. Once in a while she came to visit her rescuers, and not once met in their home other Jews form Kelmė who were hiding in the area and even those who ran away from the Kaunas Ghetto. After the liberation from the Nazis she retained the document that saved her life and used it until 1957 when she and her sister decided to immigrate to Israel. In 1947, the Šalkauskases moved to another region of Lithuania (suddenly leaved their farm for fear of supposed deportation to Siberia) and Ida lost contacts with them for nearly 60 years. Only in 2004, with the help of the Jewish museum in Vilnius, Ida Krubelnik-Marcus found her rescuers again.
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