Rescuers of Jews

Grigonis Juozas

Juozas Grigonis and Felicija Grigonienė

Juozas Grigonis, a Lithuanian lawyer, lived in Tvirtovės Avenue in Kaunas with his wife Felicija Grigonienė, and before the war, they were friendly with Noy Goldstein and his wife Sicilia. A short time after the Germans occupied Kaunas, the Goldsteins were interned, together with their daughter Tatjana Klibanskaja, her husband and three small children, in the ghetto. After the Goldsteins were executed in the Great Action carried out by the Germans in the ghetto, Klibanskaja decided to flee the ghetto with her children and asked Grigonis for shelter. The Grigonis received her warmly and since they had a private house in Lapės far from the center of the city, it seemed likely that she and her children could stay there in relative safety. But since the voices of the Jewish children aroused the suspicions of the neighbors in the adjacent houses, the Grigonis looked for ways to prevent anyone from discovering the presence of the Jewish refugees. They transferred the three children to a Catholic orphanage in Vaiguva, which was lead by Marija Rusteikaitė. Registered Tatjana Klibanskaja under a borrowed identity worked as a servant in Grigonis’ house. Thanks to the Grigonis’ act of rescue, the lives of Tatjana Klibanskaja and her three children were saved.
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