Rescuers of Jews

Kerpauskas Juozas


The Faktor family – Josef Ber, his wife Chaya Gita, their son Israel with his wife Feiga and children Gutel and Abraham, their other son Meyer with his wife Chasya and daughter Hanele, as well as their daughters Feiga Fishkin with her husband Yochel Fishkin, and Adina Faktor – were taken by Juozas Straupis in a carriage pulled by two horses and on two bicycles from Alsėdžiai to the homestead of his acquaintances Juozas and Adolfina Kerpauskas under a prior agreement. There all of them were put in a small room on the second floor of the house. At first 12 and later 16 people lived in that room. The Faktor family was joined by Josef Faktor sister Chana Ritov, her daughter Sarah Ritov and a boy Harry Frak from the Telšiai Ghetto, who were also saved by Juozas Straupis. Although the Kerpauskas’ farmstead was in a very convenient location – near a vast forest – hideouts were constructed nevertheless. The first one was excavated under the residential house. There, Israelis and Feiga Faktor’s daughter Malka was born on 1 November 1941.

From the memoirs of Bronislava Kerpauskaitė:

When the Faktor family with all their relatives – a total of 16 people – came to us in desperation, we were still just kids, because all of this happened in 1941. For about a year, we, children, did not even know that we had new inhabitants. The Faktor family and their relatives lived on the second floor of our house, in the attic. They spent there two years in peace. Men cured, scraped and tanned furs and then sewed fur coats out of them. Women did the laundry, knitted and sewed. Then the tension started rising as the persecution intensified followed by regular searches. I was interrogated too, although I was a merely 12 years old girl. I managed not to give up anybody and persuade them that I don’t know anything and that I had not seen anybody. Later, the Faktor lived in bunkers. The first bunker was excavated behind the house under the same roof, and the second one was in the barn and later in the forest. /.../ We, children – I and my brother Adolf – used to take food to those bunkers.
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