Rescuers of Jews

Vyšniauskienė Natalija

her daughter Aldona BALNIUVIENĖ (VYŠNIAUSKAITĖ) and son Algirdas VYŠNIAUSKAS

Miriam Šaferytė, later Zaborskienė was born and lived in Kaunas. After the war broke out, in July-August 1941, all Kaunas‘Jews was forced to move to the ghetto. During the Great Action Miriam was separated from her family, so she was the only of the family who survived. Miriam was in ghetto till July 1944, then she managed to escape and to hide at pharmaceutist Bijeikis‘house. She was at his place until the end of the war.
She heard about Natalija Vyšniauskienė from her uncle, who knew Natalija before the war; they were neighbours living on the same street Marvelės.
uring the war Natalija’s children used to come to the ghetto and bring food and warm clothing that Natalija would send to the Veller family and other prisoners. Her son Algis (13 years old then) used to put a yellow Star of David on his shirt and after bringing the food spend the night in the ghetto and leave next morning with the working brigade.
Natalija’s children used to bring food also to the airport, where Jews had been working.
Aldona, Natalija’s daughter, was in touch with the members of the ghetto underground organization and carried out their commissions. This situation lasted until April 1944.
In April 1944 Chaimas Veleris escaped from the ghetto and hid in Natalija‘s house till the end of the war, he lived also there when the war was over. At the same time as Veleris, Sara and Leiba Levas (whose children were carried out to Germany during the Children’s action) and 18 years old Jewish girl also were given a shelter at Natalija‘s house. All the Jews who had been hidden by Natalija Vyšniauskienė family, survived.
Levas’ family emigrated from Lithuania in 1960, they moved to Australia. Leiba Levas dead in a car accident 7 years later.
Miriam’s uncle Chaimas Veleris found her after the war and recounted her how he had survived and about Natalija’s and her children’s assistance.
Chaimas Veleris passed away in Kaunas, at the age of 99.
Both Natalija Vyšniauskienė and her children – Algirdas, Aldona and Kazimieras – risked their lives helping Jews.
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