Rescuers of Jews

Agentavičius Stasys


In the autumn of 1943, with the assistance of priest Juozas Stakauskas, the chemist and future lecturer at Vilnius University, Jokūbas Žirinauskas, along with the student Jehoshua Trigor (Ovsej Tregubov), escaped from the Vilnius Ghetto. Jehoshua Trigor testified that, while in the Vilnius Ghetto, he received a letter from J. Stakauskas, which read: “It is advisable to change your place of residence as soon as possible. If difficulties arise, please contact Father Gediminas Pileckis,” along with the specified address. With the mediation of the priests, hiding places were found for the escapees from the Vilnius Ghetto in the Aukštadvaris region. Jokūbas Žirinauskas was taken in and saved by the family of farmers Henrikas and Marija Mališauskas in the village of Srėdninkai, while Jehoshua Trigor found refuge with the Mališauskas relatives in the Naujalaukis homestead, a large farmers family of Stefanija and Alfonso Jakimavičius.

From the memories of Sabina Jakimavičiūtė (later Agentavičienė), the daughter of Jakimavičiai:

“From my parents' conversations, I learned that Aunt Marija Mališauskienė, the wife of my mom's brother Henrikas Mališauskas, brought a young man to our house who later hid with us. Our parents warned the older children not to say anything about the person hiding on our homestead. If the Germans found out, they could shoot all of us. I understood that he was Jewish, and I was convinced of it when my mom asked for help in preparing and taking food to him – the food was often different from what we ate. That young man hid with us in winter and summer until the Germans retreated. In winter, a hiding place was arranged for him in the barn, next to the animals. Sometimes we, the older children, helped fill tubs of water at the other end of the barn. We knew that the water would be heated, stoves would be heated, and the young man (we called him “the student”) would be brought to bathe and warm up. In the summer, I would see Stasys Agentavičius, who had worked for us, go into the forest with food where a bunker was prepared for “the student”. For some time, a slightly older Jewish girl hid with us. She wasn't there during winters. I don't know her name or where exactly she came from. I think she was the daughter of our parents' acquaintances from Aukštadvaris. Her father was shot in the early days of the war. We, the Jakimavičius children, especially the older ones, helped our parents. I helped with preparations and cooking, often accompanying Stasys when he carried food to “the student”. We were instructed to watch if strangers were approaching the homestead, and if we saw anything, we had to inform our parents or Stasys Agentavičius, and they knew what to do. I believe that good relationships and a strong determination of the parents to save innocent persecuted people led them to risk their own and their loved ones' well-being and lives, saving Jews during the Nazi occupation.
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