top of page

Greičiuvienė Marijona (called Aldona in family)

* 1907–2004
* Recognized in 2014

Alytus cemetery, Alytus, Lithuania

Greičiuvienė Marijona (called Aldona in family)


About the rescuer and the rescue story

Rimantas Greičius:

In 1940, my parents - Jonas Greičius and Marijona Greičiuvienė,, on the outskirts of Jurbarkas, in the village of Barkūnai, bought several hectares of land and built a house, but they did not have time to set it up, because the war started. We, three children, lived in that house with our parents: Teresė (b. 1932), Danutė (1934–2011) and me, Rimantas (b. 1938). My grandfather Vincas Greičius (1861–1945) also lived with us at that time. In 1941, when the Germans entered, the principal of Jurbarkas gymnasium was dismissed, and his place was offered to my father. My father worked as the director of the gymnasium until the late autumn of 1944.

In the spring of 1944, my father went to Kaunas for service, and returned from there with an unknown woman, whom we were told to call Sele. We were told that she was a maid and would help mommy run our farm. Sele was a hard worker, she worked around the house, mostly in the kitchen. I still remember the pudding she made - it was a wonderful treat, I have never had anything like that again. I felt that she wanted to take care of me (maybe because she had left her son with someone in Kaunas), because she always offered me something tastier.

Only later did I learn from my parents that the Jewish woman Sele (apparently she was a teacher) was brought back by my father in order to save her. My father told her not to appear in town because her features betrayed her nationality.

However, the evil eye still noticed Sele, and worst of all, realized that she was Jewish. I described how Nazis with white armbands searched for her in our house at the end of the summer of 1944 in my book " Man nereikia likimo kito" (p. 11, 12). After that, Sele became more cautious. However, in the fall, when the Eastern Front was approaching, an SS officer entered the house and saw Sele. He shouted, "Jew!" He grabbed her by the arm and dragged her to the window, his other hand cupping her face. Sele shouted "Nein, nein!" and jumped out the door. Our sheep was grazing on a long chain next to the yard. Sele pulled the stake out of the ground, and, holding the chain, ran with the sheep to a nearby pine forest. After rushing into the yard, the German lost track of her and disappeared himself.

This was a serious sign that not only Sele, but also our whole family could suffer. Having already received a driven horse from other Germans who stayed in our yard (he died a week later), father put the family and Sele in the cart and took us all to the forest. After digging a hole, we stayed there until the Red Army arrived.

In the same autumn, Sele was taken by her husband. Saying goodbye, the woman left a note addressed to the representatives of the Soviet authorities, in which she wrote that she was saved by the Greičius family during the Nazi occupation. In 1951, in Siberia, the security forces found that note during a search of our house and took it and did not return it.

After Sele left, we heard nothing more about her fate, but before the exile, my father tried to look for her. I remember my father said that Sele came from Viekšniai (now Mažeikiai district), her father owned a mill. In 2011, while presenting my book to the residents of Viekšniai, I tried to find his traces. I found out that the owner of the mill was Lesim. He and maybe his family members were shot by the Nazis. The remains of the mill still stand near Virvytė.

About parents

Jonas Greičius graduated from Vytautas the Great University of Kaunas, Lithuanian language, literature and folklore connoisseur, specialist. In 1945-1949, he worked as the director of Pagiegiai gymnasium. He spent the years 1949-1956 in Siberia. After returning, he did not teach for long. He lived in Vilnius from 1967 to 1985 (until his death). Left many written memories.

Marijona Greičiuvienė completed the elementary school teacher's course in Kaunas. She was a teacher until her marriage (1930). She grew up in the family of teacher Jonas Kuzmickas, there were eight children in the family. A library in Kaunas is named after her eldest brother Zigmas Kuzmickas (scientist and author of Lithuanian language textbooks). Her brother Jonas (pedagogue, writer, priest) edited a children's magazine between the wars, published four philosophy books in Lithuanian in exile (England, Bradford). Unfortunately, he is forgotten in Lithuania.

Rescued persons (Yad Vashem website):

Sara Kantor Paris


The Greičius

bottom of page