Rescuers of Jews

Granskytė Pranciška


In August 1941 Josef Ginas, his wife Rebecca and their two young daughters Alice and Sara were incarcerated in Kaunas ghetto. From 1943 Sara worked at a German hospital in the center of the city. Having removed the required yellow star, Sara illegally used to run around the streets of Kaunas. One day she visited their former housekeeper Prancishka (Franute) Granskyte, who had raised Alice and Sara and both loved her dearly. Before the war with the financial help of Josef Ginas, Prancishka was able to buy a kiosk located not far from the German hospital. Prancishka was delighted to see Sara when she showed up at the kiosk. She invited her to visit them at her sister’s Liudvika (Liuda) apartment. There Sara met Liudvika, her husband Antanas Bazys and their daughters Irute and Laimute. Sara told them about the life in the ghetto, about the deportations and mass killings and asked them to help to save Sara’s mother and Tanya, the two-year old niece. Prancishka and Liudvika promised to contact a friend in the countryside, not far from Kaunas, who might be willing to take the child. There Tanya would be safe.
A few days after the Kinder Aktzion (March 27, 1944) Alice Ginaite-Benjaminoviciene (Benn) managed to let Prancishka know that she would bring Tanya to her at a prearranged hour so that the child could be taken to the neighbouring village. Tanya was injected with a sedative. The sleeping girl was wrapped in a sack and placed in a large basket which Alice carried through the ghetto gates with a Jewish worker brigade. As the brigade approached its workplace, Alice put on a jacket without a yellow star and escaped unnoticed into the city. Risking her life, Alice walked through the center of Kaunas carrying the large basket which contained the greatest treasure imaginable, a child. Prancishka Granskyte, her sister Liudvika and her husband Antanas Bazys the committed humanitarianly and kind hearted people, took Tanya in. They helped to hide her in the village, and risking their own lifes and that of the two little daughters Irute and Laimute, the family helped to rescue Tanya and took care of her until the liberation from the Nazis occupation.
For saving the life of Tanya Virovitch, Prancishka Granskyte was awarded by Yad Vashem the title of Righteous among the Nations.


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