* 1891 - 1967
* Recognized in 2005
Kelmė district, Lithuania
About the rescuer and the rescue story
Doctor Petras Girbudas, a widower with two children, lived in Užventis, Kelmė district. He considered the doctor's profession sacred, he loved people and people loved him. As soon as the first German soldiers appeared and white-armed men appeared from under the ground, doctor Petras Girbudas went from house to house, warning people not to participate in the massacres, not to stain their hands with the blood of innocent people. In the first days of the occupation, the Jews of Užventis were driven to a distillery. Girbudas, having learned about the massacres, went to the camp to warn the condemned.
He was very active in looking for places where Jews could be hidden, he questioned acquaintances and patients. His own home was unsafe because people sat in the waiting room day and night. But the doctor was looking for safe places, all the time he urged residents to save people, he himself brought clothes and food to the fugitives, took off and even gave away his own shoes, if necessary, treated the rescued and rescuers for free: "How can I take money from you if you are helping Jews?"
Together with the rector of Kolainiai Monastery, Master of Theology Polikarps Macijauskas (Maciejovskis), doctor Petras Girbudas became the real organizers of the rescue of Jews in this region. They were helped by nineteen-year-old Alfonsas Songaila, who transported Jews from the Šiauliai ghetto to Užventė to Girbudas or to the rectory to Macijauskas. From there, after making an agreement with local farmers and selecting remote, wooded homesteads, they transported the Jews.
Rescued persons (Yad Vashem website):
Chana Pelcaitė Zakienė
Petras with his son's Ričardas-Adomas and Leopoldas, 1940
Rachele Kacav, Ester Krengel