A small town in Southern Lithuania
Where the Jewish Community is no more
In September 1941, Shmuel and Janina Feldberg, residents of Vilkaviškis in western Lithuania, succeeded in fleeing a large Aktion planned by the Germans. They began to wander among the villages with their daughters, five-year-old Ruth (later Feivel) and three-year-old Ada, seeking shelter. When they arrived at the village of Pagramdai they met Kastulė Savickienė, a peasant woman, and told her about the ordeals they had experienced since fleeing the ghetto. Savickienė took them into the yard of Magdė Kašinskienė, her sister, where the Feldbergs hid temporarily in the granary. During that time, the two sisters, along with their husbands, Vincas Savickas and Pijušas Kašinskas and their brother Pijušas Kilikevičius, prepared a plan to save the Jewish family. Since it was too dangerous to keep all four in one place, and would be too great a financial burden for one family, the Lithuanian sisters decided to divide the Feldbergs among their relatives. Janina and Ada remained with the Savickases; Ruth moved to Anelė and Vladas Sarpalis, and Shmuel stayed with Kilikevičius. With the increased danger of discovery, the Feldbergs could not stay in their hiding places permanently. However, they continued to receive help from their rescuers until the end of the German occupation. Since the conditions in which they were hiding and the constant danger were too great a hardship for little Ada, her parents decided to look for a permanent shelter for her. In December 1941, they came to the village of Obšrutai, where they met Uršulė Stankevičienė, a widowed peasant woman with nine children. She agreed to take Ada into her home and for nearly three years cared for her with great devotion, as if she were one of her own children. When someone informed the authorities, Stankevičienė was arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo, who demanded that she reveal Ada’s true identity. But because of her deep affection for the child, Stankevičienė did not reveal her secret and finally was released. Soon after the liberation, Ada fell ill with jaundice and died in December 1944, before her parents had a chance to come to take her. The Feldbergs eventually moved to Israel
On January 31, 1978, Yad Vashem recognized Kastulė Savickienė, Vincas Savickas, Vladas Sarpalis, Anelė Sarpalienė, and Pijusas Kilikevičius, as Righteous Among the Nations.
On October 25, 1978, Yad Vashem recognized Magdė Kašinskienė, Pijusas Kašinskas, and Uršulė Stankevičienė, as Righteous Among the Nations.
Righteous Gentiles of Vilkaviskis