Rescuers of Jews

Baltutis Vytas






In 1943 Vytas Baltutis served as a Catholic priest of a community of Gražiškiai, Vilkaviškis district. One day he received a letter from Miriam Gail, a Jewish friend, who had been his classmate in high school, and was now interned in the Kaunas Ghetto with her brother and two sisters. In the letter, Gail asked the priest to do his utmost to remove her family from the ghetto. Vytas Baltutis hastened to Kaunas, met with Gail, and began to plan her family’s escape. He planned to get false papers but then, in March 27 of 1944, the Children Action in the Kaunas Ghetto occurred and Miriam, her brother Iser and sisters Masha and Esther ran away from the ghetto without new documents. They reached Gražiškiai and were warmly accepted by the priest Vytas Baltutis. Later he arranged a hiding place for them in the home of a local peasant, Antanas Kupraitis. Antanas Kupraitis lived in Vaitkabaliai village, Vilkaviškis district, with his wife and sons Juozas and Jonas. Kupraitis family hid the four Jewish refugees for six months, untill the area was liberated by the Soviets in October 1944. After the war was over, Vytas Baltutis left the priesthood, married and immigrated to Canada. Iser, Masha (later Jaron) and Esther (later Spektor) immigrated to Israel and Miriam (later Rabinovich) - to the United States. For many years after the war, the survivors kept in touch with Vytas Baltutis and the sons of Kupraitis Juozas and Jonas.

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