Rescuers of Jews

Šaterienė Ida

From the 4th book Hands Bringing Life and Bread

When the members of the Kaunas Ghetto underground organisation knocked on the doors of the Lopšelis foster home managed by Petras Baublys, and asked him to shelter their children and provide them with forged documents, the doctor agreed to help, despite the bans and threats of the Nazis. With a hope of help, he was asked not only by Jewish parents but also by Lithuanians who decided to help the persecuted. Famous Kaunas architect Vladimiras Zubovas together with his wife Danutė, who was the daughter of famous Lithuanian composer and painter M. K. Čiurlionis, were looking for people in Kaunas and its outskirts who were willing to shelter Jewish children. One such person was the head of the Kaunas Lopšelis foster home Petras Baublys. He promised to the Zubovas family to help.
However, even though Dr. Petras Baublys agreed to take in Jewish children, the road from the Kaunas Ghetto to the foster home was not easy and full of danger due to the persecution by the Gestapo and its supporters, and other unfriendly people who posed an imminent threat. One careless step might have caused the death of the saviour and the saved child. Despite these dangers, members of the ghetto underground organisation Ida Shater (Ida Šaterienė) and Peisach Shater (Peisachas Šateris) known as the “fence snooping specialist”, and also Ronia Rozenthal (Ronia Rozentalienė), Dita Zupavichene Sperling (Dita Zupavičienė (Šperlingienė)), Sheina Berelovich (Šeina Berelovičienė), Polia Musel (Polia Muselienė) and others took care of rescuing children.
By admitting Jewish children to the Lopšelis foster home, Petras Baublys (like all the other colleagues, who were Jewish rescuers) was risking a lot. This not only posed a risk to his career but also to the life of his wife and two sons. Constant danger was present for the rescued Jewish children – the Gestapo was curious by the fast growing number of the orphans and they would initiate constant check-ups at the foster home. For reasons of safety of the Jewish children and members of the Lopšelis staff, as well as with the aim to turn off the Gestapo, older and stronger Jewish children were sent to work at the places of farmers, mostly to the Suvalkija region.
There is an old Lithuanian saying: sole on the battlefield is not a soldier. Fortunately, Dr. Petras Baublys was not alone in his fight against the Gestapo or the entire Nazi ideology. It was not only him who took care of the children accommodated at the foster home but all the staff there – the doctor was particularly supported by nurses Elena Uborevičienė, Pranciška Vitonytė, Jadvyga Liepinaitienė, Onutė Samuolytė-Liutkevičienė and te others.

The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, 2009

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