Rescuers of Jews

Michailas BUTAS (1881–1947)

In the interwar Lithuania, Zigmas Montvila, a young man from Labūnavėlė village made friends with a Jewish girl Sara Olšvangaitė from Užventis town and married her.
Zigmas Montvila’s wife was not forgotten by the “white armbands” who started looking for her everywhere. Sara and her husband realised that they could not hide at their neighbours for long so they approached Kolainiai priest Polikarpas Macijauskas. Priest Macijauskas knew Kolainiai Orthodox priest Michailas Butas very well – they were on good terms from before the war and would celebrate religious festivals and participate in public worships together. The priests Polikarpas Macijauskas and Michailas Butas discussed the situation and decided to hide Sara Olšvangaitė-Montvilienė in an Orthodox church which was under construction at that time. Later, Sara changed her hideouts several times, and was assisted by the farmers of surrounding villages including the families of Vladas Šleževičius, Jonas Macijauskas and Vladas Pocius. Sara Montvilienė’s loved ones have expressed their most sincere gratitude and respect to all her rescuers including the unforgettable Kolainiai priest Michailas Butas.
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