Rescuers of Jews

Kunčaitis Antanas

Antanas Kunčaitis

On May 4, 1944, two young Jewish men and one woman – Samuel Deich, Yerachmiel Berman and Irena Berman escaped from the Kaunas ghetto. Their plan was to join the Soviet partisans based in the Kazlų Rūda Forest. They lost their way and when night fell they had no idea where they were. They saw a light and approached a lone cabin. It appeared to be the forester Antanas Kunčaitis' home. He invited the three inside and offered them refuge for the night. The next morning Kunčaitis took the three – Yerahmiel and Irena Berman and Shmuel Deich to the village where they hoped to find a liaison to the partisans.
A month later, Shmuel Deich, now a member of a Soviet partisan unit, was on his way from the Kaunas ghetto to the forest with a group of Jewish youngsters. They were ambushed by the Lithuanian police. In the shooting that followed the forces differed significantly and most of the Jewish fighters were killed. The only one to remain alive was Deich, who was badly wounded in the leg. Unable to reach his unit’s base, he crawled to the cabin of the forester Kunčaitis. Antanas Kunčaitis took him in and looked after him for several weeks, until the end of the German occupation, in early August 1944. After the war, Shmuel Deich immigrated to Israel and changed his name to Ben-Menachem.

You are currently using the mobile version of this website.

Switch to mobile view
Mobile version