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Bielskienė Ona

* 1914-1994
* recognized in 1998

Kuršėnai village cemetery,
Šiauliai district, Lithuania

Bielskienė Ona


About the rescuer and the rescue story

In 1941, a peasant took fifteen-year-old Liuba Khanonovič from the Telšiai ghetto to work on his farm. When he was forced to send the girl back to the ghetto, she ran away and wandered around the area. After long wanderings, completely exhausted Liuba came to the village of Valakai. She was afraid to seek refuge with the locals, so she hid in the bushes. Ona Bielskienė, a resident of the village of Valakai, found the scared and hopeless girl and took her home. She fed the girl and took her to her home. Liuba Khanonovič lived with the Bielskis for ten months. Ona Bielskienė, realizing the risk she was taking by sheltering a Jewish teenager, looked for another, safer place for Liuba. She agreed with her sister-in-law Marija Jocienė (later - Basienė), who lived in a farm near the town of Luokė, that she would accept Liuba. Liuba Khanonovič hid in Marija Jociene's house for almost two years, until October 1944. From Marija Basienė's memories: "Our life was not easy. Farmstead was 5 km from Luokė. Germans rode motorcycles, asked for eggs and bacon. All our relatives knew that Liuba, a Jewish woman, lived with us, we told strangers that she was a nanny for the child. Liuba was afraid, we were too. If she was found, we all would be shot. But there were many good people in Lithuania who helped the Jews. Liuba was hiding with us from the end of 1942 to the beginning of 1944. When it became dangerous, rumors spread that Liuba was Jewish, I took her back to my brother Bielskis and his wife Ona. For some time, Liuba also hid with Ona's sister Julija Nutautienė. What we had to experience in those terrible times brought us very close. After the war, Liuba lived in Telšiai, got married, became a Geiman, and had a son. I was exiled to Siberia, I returned in 1956. Liuba's daughter Esther lives in Šiauliai district, not far from me. During my 80th birthday, she thanked me in front of all the guests for saving her mother."

After the war, Ona Bielskienė and her two children, expecting a third (the child was born in Siberia and did not survive), were deported to Siberia. It was not easy for both Marija Basienė and Ona Bielskienė, then they returned from Siberia, to start life anew, but in the words of Ona Bielskienė's grandson Rolandas Kvedaras - "these women were very religious, morally strong, knew how to love another person and that was the essence".

Liuba Khanonovič-Geimanienė maintained close relations with her rescuers Ona Bielskienė and Marija Basienė until she left for Israel, later they were extended by her daughter Estera Geimanaitė-Jankauskienė.

Rescued persons:

Liuba Khananovich Geiman


Ona Belskienė

Liuba Khananovich

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