To mark the Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews

On March 15, for the second year in a row, the Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews was observed in Lithuania.

On March 15, the commemoration of the Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews began in the morning in Vilnius. From 11 am to 2:30 pm, more than 120 students and teachers from Vilnius schools visited the Jewish Culture and Information Center. At the Center, they learned about the stories of the Jewish rescuers and about Yad Vashem, the International Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, which awards the title “Righteous Among the Nations” to those who saved Jews during the Holocaust, saw an exhibition about the Righteous Among the Nations prepared by Yad Vashem, discussed the symbols on the logo created for the Day of the Jewish Rescuers, and chose slips of paper with the names of the Jewish rescuers and placed them in the symbolic Righteous Among the Nations section. On March 15, the Jewish Culture and Information Center was visited not only by students from Vilnius Žvėrynas Gymnasium, Vasilijus Kačialovas Gymnasium, Sietuvos Pro-Gymnasium, and Naujamiestis School, but also by students and teachers from Utena and Marijampolė, who were visiting Vilnius.

On the same day, at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Secretariat of the International Commission, representatives of 3 Lithuanian regional schools came to Vilnius. The students and their teachers had an intensive all-day educational program: they visited the new exposition of the Vilnius Gaon Museum of Jewish History, “Museum of Litvak Identity”, the exhibition on the theme of Jewish Rescuers in Vilnius City Hall, prepared by architect Tauras Budis and his daughter Barbora, took a tour of Vilnius University, and briefly visited the Jewish Culture and Information Center, where they saw the exhibition of the ghetto hiding place “malina”.

In the afternoon, students from Alytus, Marijampolė, and Utena, together with their teachers, participated in the official commemoration of the Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews in the courtyard of Vilnius University. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Ingrida Šimonytė, opened the commemoration by sharing her thoughts about Jewish rescuers from different regions, emphasizing that “no rescue was ever the same, and the stories of Jewish rescuers are also different”. Then the names of the Jewish rescuers and the names of the places in Lithuania where people were rescued during the Holocaust were read out. The names were read by politicians, diplomats, members of the Lithuanian Jewish community, schoolchildren, students, public figures, and representatives of various institutions.

According to a student from Jotvingiai Gymnasium in Alytus, who attended the event at Vilnius University, “the most impressive thing was the video from the USA of the rescued Danutė Pomerancaitė, who said: ‘If it weren’t for the rescuers, I wouldn’t be alive today.

The event, which took place at Vilnius University, was attended by students and teachers from the Tolerance Education Centers: Jotvingiai Gymnasium in Alytus, Sūduvos and Marian Gymnasiums in Marijampolė, Ryto Pro-Gymnasium in Marijampolė, and Aukštakalnio Pro-Gymnasium in Utena.

Events dedicated to the Day of Rescuers of Lithuanian Jews were also held in other cities, in tolerance education centers. For more information, see the news from the Tolerance Education Centers.