Rescuers of Jews


Helene Holzman, an artist, bookseller and teacher of drawing and German language in Kaunas before the war, became a witness to the events of the Kaunas Ghetto during the German occupation.
Helene Holzman‘s husband, owner of the Pribačis bookstore Max Holzman, disappeared forever during the pogroms in Kaunas in June of 1941. A little later, her 19-year-old daughter Marija was arrested, imprisoned and later shot at the Ninth Fort; Marija used to visit wounded German soldiers at the Kaunas hospital and discuss peace with them.
After this awful loss, Helene Holzman overcame her despair and resolved not only to save her youngest daughter Margaret, but to save as many people as possible, starting with children from the Kaunas Ghetto in mortal danger.
Fruma Vitkinaitė-Kučinskienė was saved by these fearless, self-sacrificing women – Helene Holzman, her daughter Margaret, Natalija Fugalevičiūtė, Natalija Jegorova and Lidija Golubovienė – and associated her destiny with these women her whole life. After the war, when it became clear that Fruma’s parents and brother had perished during the liquidation of the Kaunas Ghetto, Helene Holzman adopted Fruma.
Eye-witnesses to these events retell them in this documentary film: Helene Holzman’s daughter Margaret, currently living in Giessen Germany, and Fruma Vitkinaitė-Kučinskienė, who lives in Kaunas.
The film uses much documentary photo and film material portraying life in Kaunas before and during the German occupation.

Film director and scriptwriter Lilija Kopač
Project manager and script co-author Danutė Selčinskaja
operator Algis Liutkevičius
The presentation of video documentary "Étude of Hope" took place in the Tolerance centre of Vilna Gaon Jewish State museum on 17 April 2007

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