Rescuers of Jews

Greizė Haroldas (Karolis)

From Michaela Karnovsky’s Memoirs:

At the end of 1943 it was decided that I should be smuggled out of the Kaunas Ghetto into safer hands. A friend of my father had known a childless family before the war: the husband was German and the wife Russian. They had already taken in one child ‘from the train’, namely one of the children handed over at railway stations to local inhabitants by Byelorussian, Ukrainian or Russian young mothers, being deported to Germany for forced labour.
My father and his friend negotiated with Haroldas and Jevgenia Greize (Karolis and Jevdokija-Dunya as they called themselves) who were simple, semi-literate people; they agreed to take me in. The members of our family were arguing amongst themselves as to whether they should hand over the baby or keep me with them to share the whole family’s fate. On the same floor of that small house in the ghetto, apart my parents, grandmother and the Gudinsky family – Kuba, his wife, my aunt Nina and their 2-month-old Rina there were two other families. One of them was the Rabinovich family with an 11-year-old son, Muki Rabinovich. Muki Rabinovich’s mother, for instance, did not want to hand over her children to anyone. Luckily, my mother opted for the desperate and courageous step of parting with her daughter.
I was handed over the fence to Karolis in a sack of potatoes, after Nina had first given me an injection to make me go to sleep and then bribed the guards. I had fair hair and grew up speaking only Russian, which meant that Karolis and Dunia could tell the neighbours that I was just another baby ‘from the train’. Mother met my rescuers on a number of occasions, but then she decided to stop doing so, because it might only expose everyone to extra dangers.
After the liberation my aunt Nina and her husband Kuba Gudinsky came out of hiding and straight away went to fetch me from my rescuers, who had looked after me out of the kindness of their hearts, without taking anything for it. They were simple folk and quite old by then. Unfortunately, despite all the efforts of our family, they were deported from Lithuania to Central Asia, because the husband was German. We used to correspond with them and send them parcels.
Unfortunately, Haroldas and Jevgenija Greize didn't return to Lithuania from their exile, they died there.

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