rescuers of jews

Ramanauskas Juozas

Juozas Ramanauskas ir Sofija Ramanauskienė

Juozas and Sofija Ramanauskas, farmers, lived with their three children on their farm near the town of Raseiniai. In August 1941, two months after the Germans entered the town, Ramanauskas discovered a young man, around 20 years old, near his home, trying to sneak into the farmyard. This was Nachum Zolin, a Jew from Raseiniai, who had managed to flee the massacre of the town’s Jews, and was seeking shelter in the nearby villages. Ramanauskas knew the Zolin family because he used to buy at their shop. He decided to offer Zolin shelter on his farm. Ramanauskas prepared a hiding place for him in the barn, where Zolin was later joined by Shimon and Meir Levner from Raseiniai. After several weeks, the Levner brothers left the hiding place hoping to find some work with local farmers, but were caught and executed. Then, another Jew, Shmerl Milner, found his way to the Ramanauskas farm. Milner, also a native of Raseiniai, was mostly hiding in the forest, receiving periodic help from his non-Jewish acquaintances. In April 1944, Zolin and Milner were joined by a group of Jews, who had fled the Kaunas Ghetto. The group included Meir and Tsipora Choronzitsky, Betsalel Smeyatsky and Sonya-Yaffa Ceikinski (who later married Zolin).
They all stayed at the Ramanauskas’ until the liberation in August 1944. To feed them the Ramanauskas’ were also helped by the Aleksandra Gylienė and Leonas Gylys, who weekly brought packages of food for the hidden Jews.
After the war, the majority of the survivors moved to Israel and Nachum Zolin and Sonia Zolin moved to South Africa.