* recognized in 1993
Užventis cemetery, Kelmė district, Lithuania
About the rescuer and the rescue story
Under the request of priest Polikarpas Macijauskas, the family of Ona amd Bronislavas Černiauskas, who were living in Sarakiškiai village, Užventis subdistrict, Kelmė district, began rescuing the Jews. People of Jewish nationality were constantly visiting their home during all years of the war: they would sleep there and were given food. Rachel Kacav and Esther Krengel with their mothers-in-law Riva Glas and Musya Blecher stayed in that family for eight months.
The farmstead was by the road and near the centre of the settlement, therefore the eyes of strangers had to be avoided at all times. Genovaitė Černiauskytė’s (now Dugnienė) duty was to issue a timely warning, if anybody was coming, so the fugitives had time to hide.
Memories of Genovaitė Černiauskaitė - Dugnienė:
Genovaitė's parents, Ona and Bronislovas Černiauskas, had a rather large farm, about 27 hectares of land in two places. There was a lot of work, so parents and older brother Liudas were usually drowned in work. Mother Ona Černiauskienė was very shrewd, she knew how to handle the farm. She raised many geese, made pillows and blankets. She was extremely hardworking. Genutė attended Užventis school for eight years, was a diligent student, and when she returned, she had to help her mother prepare lunch for the family. The house was big, even with two ends, so there was no shortage of guests in the house.
[...] Father's compassion for strangers remained in Genovatė’s memory throughout her life. When the Second World War began, the girl was only ten years old. A difficult period has begun. There was tension in the house. Parents often whispered and consulted each other. After some time, strangers appeared in their house. At the other end of the house, where rarely anyone visited, father housed unseen people. Some did not stay long. They lived for a while and left. The girl was ordered not to open the door for anyone, not to let strangers in when her parents were not at home. The house was far from the neighbors, so there was no need to be afraid of unnecessary eyes. Genutė found out that it were Jews who were being hidden, that you couldn’t talk about it with anyone. She realized what was waiting for them if anyone would find out. The parents threatened that they would all be shot. The girl's duty was to make sure that the "guests" were fed and provided with the necessary things. Those guests changed, but someone always lived. Two young Jewish women lived in their house for the longest time (about two years). These were Rachel Kacev and Esther Kreingel. They earned the girl's greatest love.
There was always fear that someone lived in their house. Once some people from the country came. Potatoes were grated in the kitchen, apparently lunch was being prepared, but mother was not at home, only Genutė and father. Strangers were suspicious of who was cooking lunch here.
[...] Genovaitė remembers that her father used to say how it is possible not to help innocent Jews if they were recently friends [...]
Rescued persons (Yad Vashem web page):
Ona, Genovaitė, Bronislovas Černiauskas 1935