rescuers of jews

Mikalauskienė Stasė

Vladislovas Taškūnas
Antanas Mikalauskas and Stasė Mikalauskienė

In the first months after the outbreak of the war, 15-year-old Sara Feidelmanaitė (later Shavel) lost most of her family members, who were murdered near Telšiai, her hometown. Feidelmanaitė and her older sister Doba (later Rafaelienė) were sent to a forced labor camp near the town of Alsėdžiai, with 500 other young Jewish women. At the end of 1941, when they learned that the camp would soon be liquidated, the Fydelman sisters decided to escape, hoping to find shelter in Alsėdžiai. After wandering for days in the town and its surroundings, and enduring many ordeals, the sisters met Vladislovas Taškūnas, the local priest, who said he was ready to help them. At first, the priest took the Feidelmanaitė sisters to his home, where together with two other Jewish women from Telšiai, they were hidden for several weeks. In the mean time Taškūnas asked some of his parishioners, if they can give a shelter to one or more Jews in a countryside. Antanas and Stasė Mikalauskas, the young farmers living in the village of Dišliai, agreed to take Sara into their home. Despite the risk involved, the Mikalauskas family chose not to hide Sara but to introduce her as their remote relative and she lived at the Mikalauskas family until October 1944, when the area was liberated. Upon Sara’s request the Mikalauskas family even helped with clothes to Sara’s sister Doba, who was hiding in another place. The ties that developed between Sara and the Mikalauskas family during the occupation were maintained after the war as well, even after Sara immigrated to Israel.