Rescuers of Jews

Gadeikis Pranas


Julija and her brother Pranas spent the war years in their native place. Those sincere religious people could not stand aside when the Jews of surrounding towns were persecuted and massacred. Sara Braudienė and her teenage daughter Gita, Taubė Braudaitė and Gita Lipmanaitė from Alsėdžiai – they all found shelter and rescue in the Gadeikiai native place. At the end of the war also came doctors Dovydas Kaplanas and Blatas. The hide out was prepared in the barn, under hay. Having brought food, Julija would quietly sing this was the sign that they could come out. It is possible that somebody in Babrungėnai suspected that the Gadeikiai hid Jews, but nobody betrayed them. There was enough bread for all.
Post-war years. Again – violence, losses, deaths. In 1948 Julija and Pranas found themselves in Buryat Mongolia. Hard and emaciating labour in a collective farm, at construction sites, on railways. However, leaning against each other, people would salvage each other as much as they could. The Gadeikiai were the first to rally people, they looked for ways to remain human even under inhuman conditions.
Goodness of the heart accompanied the life of the Gadeikiai everywhere. This was their most precious wealth. Julija Gadeikytė remained faithful to the words, which she wrote in 1930 and dedicated to her brother Pranas:
“First of all I was weaving love to the Almighty, after that follows love to the mother most warmhearted, the third is love to those close to you, let it thus work for the other be sweet to you. Try to reduce the hardships to humanity, serve the nation and foster it.”

From Hands Bringing Life and Bread, Volume 1,
The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum. Vilnius, 1997
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