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Binkytė Eleonora

* 1922-2003
* recognized in 1988

Jasiuliškis village cemetery, Ukmergė district, Lithuania

Binkytė Eleonora


About the rescuer and the rescue story

About Eleonora:

Eleonora Binkytė was born in 1922, a year after the wedding of her parents, Lithuanian poet Kazys Binkis and his first wife Pranutė. A year later, a son, Gerardas, was born. In 1927, when she and her children went to visit her family at Nariūnai Manor, Pranutė caught a cold and died when she was only 29. Kazys married for the second time, and his new wife Sofija was also a widow with two children, so the new family had four children. Kazys used to joke when the couple got married: "We started a co-operative to raise our children."

Eleonora missed her birth mother very much. She was a difficult character. After the death of Kazys Binkis in 1942, she and her brother Gerardas went to live with relatives in Nariūnai. After finishing her studies, she worked as a teacher in Garliava, and after her brother's return from exile she moved to Vilnius. Eleonora was characterised by her diligence. In Vilnius, she got a job at the Book Palace. As an adult, Eleonora was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She did not start a family.

About rescue:

After the establishment of the Kaunas ghetto in 1941 In August, Sofija Binkienė, having received the approval of her husband, the famous Lithuanian writer Kazys Binkis, decided to help the Jews there. The Binkis’ home became a permanent refuge for many Jews, and it also served as a halfway house where people were encouraged and psychologically supported. Sofija and Kazys Binkis’ were helped by their daughters Lilijana (later Mozuriūnienė) and Irena Nacevičiutė (Sofija's daughter from her first marriage), as well as Kazys’s children from a previous marriage, Gerdas Binkis and Eleonora Binkytė. Vladas Varčikas, Liliana's fiancé at the time, also provided vital aid to the Jews. Since Varčikas was not a family member at the time, and his relatives were unknown to the neighbors of Binkis’s, they presented some Jews as Varčikas family members. At the age of thirteen, Goda Judelevich, who was given shelter in the Binkis’ home from 1942 to 1944, was introduced as Varčikas’s little sister. This rescue of Jews and continued support for the Jews of the ghetto was accompanied by many dangers, and although Binkis himself was already very ill at the time, his family members continued to help the Jews out of purely humanitarian reasons.

"...Whoever survived the German occupation understands what such a house meant to Jews, where you could come in the most difficult moments of life. For us, this was the house of "Aunt Zosia", which we jokingly called the Jewish hotel. There we found not only shelter, but and a warm atmosphere, a willingness to help, and this gave us courage and faith, which was extremely important in those years!

To this day, we cannot understand how Sofija Binkienė could feed so many hungry and outcasts with less than modest earnings. Once we found her sleeping on the floor because she had given her bed to a woman who had escaped from the ghetto that day.

Dear "Aunt Zosia" will always remain for us a representative of those brave and dedicated Lithuanians who were not afraid to challenge the Hitlerite executioners and became symbols of soldiers without weapons..."

Beba Šatenstein-Taborsky, Adina and Samuelis Segaliai, Raja Judelevičienė, Gita Judelevičiūtė, Margalit Stender-Lonke.

From the Israeli newspaper "Our country" 04/05/1984

Rescued persons:

Gita Judelevičiūtė (Gita Judelevitch)
Raja Judelevičienė (Raja Judelevitch)
Paša (Pesia) Melamed
Miron Ginkas
Fruma - Mania Ginkienė
Kama Ginkas
Sofija (Sonia) Ginkaitė Šabadienė
Beba Šatenštein - Taborisky
Gutia Šmuklerytė -Fiš
Roza Stenderienė
Adina Segal
Samuelis (Šmuelis) Segalis
Rivka Šmuklerytė - Ošerovičienė
Gerta Bagrianskienė
Fania Zislė (vėliau dingo)
Ester Golan

Information collected using:

The story told by Sofija Ligija Makutėnienė (Iga)


1921: newlyweds Pranė and Kazys Binkis

Sofija and Kazys Binkis with kids

Kazys Binkis with his children. Eleonora is the first one from the right

Adina Segal with her daughter

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