Rescuers of Jews

Navienė Stasė

Stasys Navys and his wife Stasė Navienė

On the eve of the German invasion to Lithuania, the teacher Stasys Navys, his wife Stasė and their sons Evaldas Vilius, Jonas Tautvydas and Gintautas lived in the village of Gražuliai, Alytus region.
In spring 1944, Lea Portaitė knocked on their door and asked for shelter. After escaping from the Kaunas ghetto, she had been hiding in the forest, with a group of Jews who fled from various ghettos in the area. For several months she stayed with the Ivanauskas family in the village of Skovagaliai, but when it became too dangerous, she started looking for another shelter, the Navys family accepted Lea Portaitė into their home, involving themselves into the long, complicated and dangerous process of the Jews rescue.
Samuel Ingel, Leja's future husband used to visit this home frequently. The Navys couple also helped with supplying food to other Jews hiding in the nearby forests, among them – Abel Weinstein (later Aba Gefen) and his brother Joseph. After the war, Lea Portaitė and Samuel Ingel emigrated to the USA
Unfortunately the life of Stasys Navys was interrupted tragically. In 1947 he was killed from ambush by unknown person. Probably, local anti-semites had murdered Stasys Navys as an act of revenge for helping Jews.

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