rescuers of jews

Šaudvytis Pranas

Genovaitė ŠAUDVYTIENĖ
Pranas ŠAUDVYTIS


Before the war, Genovaitė Petrauskaitė worked in the family of Eta and Motl Krut – she was learning the craft of being a hairdresser. There were two children in the Krut family – daughter Betti, born in 1933, and son Chaimas, born in 1939. In January 1941 Genutė married Pranas Šaudvytis. Their daughter Laimutė was born in spring 1942.
When the war started, the Krut family was imprisoned in the Kaunas Ghetto. The young Šaudvyčiai family lived at 66 Laisvės alėja; the commandant of the ghetto, Gekke, resided in the same house.
In 1943, when the prisoners of the Jewish ghetto were driven to concentration camps in Germany, the Šaudvyčiai, risking their lives and that of their baby daughter Laimutė, secretly took 10-year-old Betti from the ghetto and sheltered her in their flat. The fair-haired, blue-eyed girl who spoke good Lithuanian did not raise any suspicions to the commandant Gekke, who would even offer her chocolate from time to time.
The girl lived in the flat of the Šaudvyčiai until the end of the war. Later she was taken to the home for Jewish children in Kaunas. She lived there until her father returned to Kaunas from the Dachau concentration camp. Eta Krutienė and her young son did not come back; they were burned in the crematorium of the Stutthof concentration camp.
The hard experiences from the war broke down Genovaitė Šaudvytienė's health – she died at the age of 41. Pranas Šaudvytis worked for a long time in the Banga factory and was a well-known cyclist. This gifted man also drew, knitted, and embroidered.
Rescued by the Šaudvyčiai, Betti Krutaitė received an education and worked for a long time in the laboratory of the Kaunas Red Cross out-patient department. She was loved and respected by people, and she brought up two sons. Betti died in 1985.
I think that decent people who are ready to sacrifice for others, like Genovaitė and Pranas Šaudvyčiai, deserve the title of the Righteous Among the Nations.

From Hands Bringing Life and Bread, Volume 2,
The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum. Vilnius, 1999