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The Ramanauskas FAMILY Righteous Among the Nations.

The Ramanauskas FAMILY Righteous Among the Nations.
A Rescue Story
Ramanauskas, Juozas
Ramanauskien?, Sofija

Juozas and Sofija Ramanauskas, well-to-do farmers, lived with their three children on their farm near the town of Raseiniai. In August 1941, two months after the Germans entered the town, Ramanauskas discovered a young man, around 20 years old, near his home, trying to sneak into the farmyard. This was Nachum Zolin, a Jew from Raseiniai, who had managed to flee the massacre of the town’s Jews, and was seeking shelter in the nearby villages. Ramanauskas knew the Zolin family because he used to buy at their shop. He decided to offer Zolin shelter on his farm. So that Zolin could stay there in relative safety, Ramanauskas prepared a hiding place for him in the barn, where Zolin was later joined by Shimon and Meir Levner from Raseiniai. After several weeks, the Levner brothers left the hiding place hoping to find some work with local farmers, but were caught and executed. Then, another Jew, Shmerl Milner, found his way to the Ramanauskas farm. Milner, also a native of Raseiniai, hid mostly in the forest, receiving periodic help from his non-Jewish acquaintances. In April 1944, Zolin and Milner were joined by a group of Jews who had fled the Kaunas ghetto. The group had split up into two groups: one group was given shelter by the Tarapas* family, and the other by the Ramanauskases. The second group included Meir and Tsipora Choronžicki, and Sonya-Yaffa ?eikinski (who later married Zolin). They stayed at the Ramanauskases’ until the end of the German occupation, in August 1944. To feed them the Ramanauskases slaughtered their milk cows and were also helped by the Gylys* couple, who weekly brought packages of food for the hidden Jews. After the war, the majority of the survivors moved to Israel and the Zolin couple moved to South Africa.

On June 7, 1983, Yad Vashem recognized Juozas Ramanauskas and Sofija Ramanauskien? as Righteous Among the Nations.

Rescued Sarah Barit-Vinik in Italy, mid 1940-ies
Credit: The photo was received from the survivors' family