Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Lithuania Names First Street for ‘Righteous Gentile’

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius unveiled the sign of the first street in Lithuania named for a non-Jew who risked her life to save Jews from the Holocaust.

The Sept. 22 ceremony was at Simaites Street, where a heavily Jewish crowd of several dozen people convened to honor Ona Šimaitė, a Vilnius University librarian whose actions helped rescue numerous Jews from the Vilna Ghetto.

Simaites, who was recognized in 1966 as a Righteous Among the Nations – a title conferred by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum on behalf of the State of Israel — arranged for the rescue of Jews, including children, by other Righteous.

She was also responsible for the forging of identity documents, and helped smuggle provisions into the Vilna Ghetto as well as carrying letters between ghetto inmates and residents of the city outside the ghetto gates, according to the defendinghistory.com site on Jewish news from Lithuania.

Separately, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite posthumously stripped a Lithuanian anti-communist fighter, Pranas Koncius, of a state honor because of his complicity in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust, when many Lithuanians volunteered to serve the Nazi army and occupation government. “He was never worthy of this award,” the Baltic News Service quoted Grybauskaite as saying on Sept. 21.

On Tuesday, a commemoration ceremony for the victims of the genocide of Lithuanian Jews was held at the Paneriai Memorial.

Parliament Speaker Loreta Grauziniene and several hundred others paid tribute there to thousands of people killed at the site during the Second World War.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.