rescuers of jews

Lapinskienė Konstancija


Fira Nementschik (currently Florence Post) was born in Kaunas in 1936. In the summer of 1941 Fira with her mother Liza, brother Boris, aunt Miriam Liudvinovsky and Miriam’s daughter Ilana found themselves in the Kaunas ghetto. Fira’s father Isakas Nemencikas managed to survive the murders in the 7th Fort, but soon he was taken away in an unknown direction. Ilana’s father, Abramas Liudvinovsky, was murdered in the 7th Fort.
When Fira’s mother, Liza Nemencikiene, realized that the children were in great danger, that they could be caught and killed, she started to work on a salvation plan of her daughter Fira and niece Ilana. Most of Liza’s neighbours in the ghetto did not approve of the plan, because the front line was approaching and they thought that ghetto prisoners would soon be liberated. But Liza did not change her mind; she got in touch with her acquaintance, Juozas Audėnas, who arranged Fira’s and Ilana’s transfer to Vincas Lapinskas, who lived in Kupriai village, Prienai region. Vincas’ wife Konstancija, received the girls. She worked as a teacher and used to help their illiterate neighbours write letters to their relatives, whenever necessary, therefore, everyone in the village respected her. Obviously, this was the reason why none of the neighbours betrayed the Lapinskas, when two little Jewish girls appeared in their family. Vincas and Konstancija did not have children of their own; they received the girls very warmly and took care of them. The neighbours had been told that those were Russian girls, who lost their parents in the turmoil of evacuation. Both girls stayed with the Lapinskas until the end of the war. Ilana’s mother was killed at the attempt to run away from the ghetto. Fira’s mother, Liza Nemencikiene, remained alive. She had been working as a help with different farmers, without telling them who she was and often changing places of work. Liza’s husband, Isakas Nemencikas, survived the concentration camps.
After the war with the help of Vincas Lapinskas Liza Nemencikiene and her daughter Fira left for Poland and in Lodz they met Isakas Nemencikas.
Upon the evidence provided by Florence Post (Fira Nemencikaite) Vincas and Konstancija Lapinskas have been acknowledged by Yad Vashem as “Righteous Among the Nations” in 2011.