Rescuers of Jews
Juozas KATINSKAS, Marija KATINSKIENĖ Kotryna KATINSKAITĖ, Ona KATINSKAITĖ-DOVEIKIENĖ Tobijas Jafetas was born in Kaunas in the family of Berta and Rafael Jaffetas. The family had three sons: the eldest Azriel, Fima, who died at the age of 6, and the youngest Tobijas. In 1939 the family emigrated to England. Tobijas’ cousin Onutė Katinskaitė, who graduated from school, came to visit them. But because of the unrest, which was already felt in Europe, Tobijas’ mother decided to take the girl back to Kaunas and she took Tobijas with her. In 1940 new political forces came to power in Lithuania and their visas became invalid. Therefore, Berta and Tobijas were unable to return to England. Tobijas’ father and the eldest son stayed in England. In august 1941 Berta and Tobijas were forced to move to the ghetto. After the murder of children during Children’s Action, Berta decided to try and save Tobijas. She organized it with the help of her sister Masha, who was married to a Lithuanian – Juozas Katinskas. One day in April 1944 Tobijas went out of the ghetto; he was met by Kotryna Katinskaitė and Onutė Katinskaitė. All three of them went to the apartment, where a baby-sitter of Tobijas’ cousin, Lev Frenkel, lived. Her name was Pranė Špokaite Juodvalkienė. With the help of the Katinskas family Tobijas received the documents on the name of Jonas Vaitkevičius and next morning Kotryna, Onutė and Tobijas took the train and went to Vilnius to the apartment of Masha and Juozas Katinskas. Tobijas had been hiding illegally in their apartment until the release in July 1944. Tobijas’ mother Berta perished when the ghetto was liquidated. Tobijas stayed to live in Lithuania in the family of Masha and Juozas Katinskas. He received higher education, raised a family and continues to live and work in Vilnius.