Rescuers of Jews

From the memoirs of Miriam Povimonskaya-Shur

During the German occupation Qna Šimaitė helped the Jews, including our family, a great deal. She shared her bread from her own meagre resources with others. She had only two dresses. I remember when we wanted to give her one more, she said: "Don't do that. It would give me a problem deciding which one to wear. Now I am wearing one and washing the other." Her whole salary as a librarian of the University Library was spent on food that she bought and gave to Jews in their place of work. She came secretly to see us many a time in the workers' blocks in the Kailis ghetto factory. She did it at considerable risk to herself. It was mostly due to her efforts that my father's records survived. He knew that she would hide them. She supported his writing in every possible way, and brought paper and ink to the ghetto for him. Father usually wrote with a fountain-pen, and taking ink into the ghetto was a difficult and dangerous task. Šimaitė was linked with an underground organisation. She provided me with a fake passport under the name of a Polish girl. This passport enabled me to escape from the ghetto and to live in the occupied city. Ona kept at her place a Jewish girl who had somehow survived the liquidation of the ghetto and had come to her.

Excerpt from letter by Miriam Povimonskaya-Shur. (Grigory Shur. Notes. Vilnius Ghetto chronicle 1941–1944)
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