Rescuers of Jews

Kazlauskienė Liudvika


The family of Pranas and Liudvika Kazlauskai lived in Vygantiskiai village, Telsiai region. Most of the residents is this and other villages nearby, namely Buozenai and Kalnenai, were trying to support and rescue the Jews during the war as Yehoshua Sochot and Yakov Gurvicius, who had been hiding at the homes of these people during WWII, now living in Israel, certify.
From the testimony of Yakov Gurvicius:
In the middle of 1943 I could no longer stay in Barstyciai village, and therefore I decided to walk to Telsiai. On my way, I visited Butvydas living in Kalnenai village, whom I had known since the end of 1941 when the peasants would take the Jews from Telsiai ghetto to help them with the work in their farms.
Having gone there I met a good friend from my early years Abraomas Desiatnikas, who had been hiding there in Kalnenai at that time. He told me there were many Jewish women in Kalnenai and Vygantiskiai villages, most of the people living here helped and supported them; those hiding and on the run felt relatively safe here since nobody was trying to contact the authorities and have them arrested.
A. Desiatnikas advised me to go to Pranas Kazlauskas; he accompanied me there. The Kazlauskai family, Pranas, his wife and children, welcomed me sincerely. I stayed with them for about a month and a half as I did not want to burden them too much; moreover, I was offered to stay in the farmhouse in the domain of the religious seminary. At night I had to take the horses to the fields and help with other farm work. In the middle of June of the same year I decided it was too dangerous for me to stay there any longer as a new steward, whom I did trust, had been hired. So, I contacted Pranas Kazlauskas again, and he found me a new home in Vygantiskes village with Leonas and Petronele Aisciai. I am asking to recommend Pranas and Liudvika Kazlauskai, who had repeatedly saved my life, to be awarded Life Saving Cross.

Pranas Kazlauskas also contributed to saving Sara Drukiene and her two daughters Leah and Gita, who had been hiding with Agota Stongviliene living nearby. Israel Vinikas, Leah Drukaite’s son still keeps in touch with the family of Algis Kazlauskas still living in the house of Pranas and Liudvika Kazlauskai in Vygantiskiai village.

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