Rescuers of Jews

Berelovičienė Šeina

Maya Berelovch's Story

Maya Berelovich lived together with her parents Icik Berelovich and Sheina Berelovich in Kaunas. Her father was killed at the beginning of the war, but Maya and her mother moved to the ghetto. Maya’s mother and her aunt Ida Shater were very active in the underground resistance organization. They were involved in rescuing ghetto’s children. Maya‘s mother, who was a nurse, used to make children sedative injections and transfer sleeping children to trustworthy people or bring them to “Lopšelis” nursery and orphanage in Vilijampolė, run by Dr. Petras Baublys. Maya‘s mother was constantly looking for reliable family to leave her own daughter safely with.
In 1942 Sheina Berelovich managed to get a forged birth certificate for Maya and she gave the girl to Jonas and Juzefa Fedoravičius family, who took care of her for several weeks. Then they were forced to return Maya to the ghetto, since the neighbours found out that she was Jewish.
After a while Maya was taken out from ghetto again. That time she was given to Sofija Aleknavičienė, who lived together with her 21-year old daughter Bronė. Soon another Jewish child – Liudmila Shmuilov – joined the family. They sheltered her until the end of the war.
When it became unsafe to leave at Sofija Aleknavičienė place, she carried out Maya in a lorry to Aukuškoniai village, to the family of Vladas ir Teofilė Kvedaravičius. Maya Berelovich lived with them as if it was her own family till the liberation of Kaunas.
When the liquidation of Kaunas Ghetto started (July 1944) and they began to evacuate prisoners to Germany, Sheina Berelovich at the supreme moment managed to escape a line of people who were being brought to the station. She found shelter with Sofija Aleknavičienė, so she was rescued.
After the war Sheina Berelovich moved together with her daughter Maya to Vilnius. She stayed in touch with their rescuers till the end of her life. Her daughter Maya Berelovich Visockaya is on friendly terms with rescuers‘s families up to now.
Liudmila Shmuilovaite‘s mother also survived the war and took her daughter.
Liudmila Shmuilovaite -Tarasenkova passed away in 2003.
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