Rescuers of Jews

Janonytė-Trasauskienė Elena

Genė Chaitaitė spent her childhood in Saločiai shtetl 18 km from Pasvalys. 40–45 Jewish families lived there before the war. Genė lived together with her three sisters Necha, Chaja and Dina (Pesia) and brother Abraham in their mother’s house. Their father died before the war.
Sisters Chait have studied in the Saločiai primary school and in the Pasvalys gymnasium later on. They had a lot of friends; they were good at dancing and singing. Nazi occupation put an end to their easygoing life.
Brother Abraham vanished. The blond-haired sister Dina (Pesia), together with the crowd of women, was taken to the execution in the forest of Žadeikiai. Neighbours tried to persuade her to escape but she refused to leave her mother.
Necha, Chaja and Genė managed to rescue themselves.
In 1939 Genė Chaitaitė moved to Vilnius and worked as a teacher. In August 1941 she was taken to the execution to Paneriai but her childhood friend Antanas Janonis pulled her out from the squad and brought her to his parents Simonas and Marijona Janoniai at the village of Globinai near Saločiai. Father and son Janonis together with scared chased girl experienced a lot of dangerous moments. Afterwards they equipped with a well-disguised hideout at their house where Genė Chaitaitė hid herself in dangerous cases. Genė stayed with this family till the end of the war. After the front withdrew in October 1944 she returned to Vilnius where taught German at school for 32 years. Later she emigrated to Israel where passed away in 2010.
Genė Chaitaitė was always grateful for the Janonis family members who rescued her taking risk of their lives.
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