Rescuers of Jews

Jurevičiūtė Birutė

Juzefa JUREVIČIENĖ (1888–1970) Jonas JUREVIČIUS (1894–1944) their daughters Leonija, Valerija, Birute, Vanda and son Jonas Jonas and Juzefa Jurevičius, their four daughters Leonija, Valerija, Birutė and Vanda, and their son Jonas lived in Žemaitkiemis village, Lapės district, not far from Kaunas. From the autumn of 1943, their home became a shelter for seven Jews who had escaped from the Kaunas Ghetto including: Mr. Mejeris Jelinas, Mr. Danielis Kaplanas, Mrs. Chaja Šuster, Mr. Kartingeris, Mrs. Kalmanskienė and her grandson. Doctor Abramavičius would also come to the home of the Jurevičius family for food almost every day. Besides the said Jews, one Russian prisoner of war was also hiding in the barn. It was very difficult to provide such big party with food and shelter. The risk increased in December 1943 when a lot of prisoners escaped from the 9th Fort and the Germans started searching the neighbourhood. Alerts about upcoming danger would constantly reach the Jews from the ghetto underground organisation, therefore several of the fugitives, including Mejeris Jelinas, Danielis Kaplanas and Mrs. Kalmanskienė, returned to the ghetto. In the middle of April of 1944, the Germans surrounded the farmstead, burned down the barn with the Russian POW, beat up Mrs. Juzė Jurevičienė, arrested and took away Chaja Šuster, Mr. Kartingeris and the owner of the farmstead Jonas Jurevičius. The arrested Jews and the owner of the farmstead Jonas Jurevičius were shot in the 9th Fort. Jurevičius’ daughters managed to hide Mrs. Kalmanskienė’s grandson, and the next day Leonija and Birutė took the boy to the Benedictine monastery. Thus the boy was saved. After the war, he was taken to Israel by his relatives. In 1997, Jonas and Juzefa Jurevičius and their daughter Leonija were titled the Righteous Among the Nations.
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