* 1898 - 1989
* recognized in 2010
Kaunas district, Lithuania
About the rescuer and the rescue story
Stasė and Jonas Lingės lived in Kaunas, Višinskis street. Jonas worked as an engineer in a dairy factory, Stasė was a housewife. The couple had a son - Ramutis, born in 1938.
In the summer of 1943, Stase's sister Emilija asked to shelter a child of Jewish origin. She talked about the five-year-old nephew of her friend Genia Makovskaya, Viktor Pikelny. Since the beginning of the German occupation, Viktor lived in the ghetto with his mother, sister, and other relatives. Victor's father died in a car accident in 1940. After a little consideration, the Linges agreed. Since the boy could not be taken out of the ghetto in plain sight, he was drugged and taken away in a basket among the items for sale. Aunt Genia picked him up outside the ghetto and took him to Linge's house. The first thing the boy saw when he woke up was a cat, about which the child happily shouted "a ketzl". The realization that the boy spoke only Yiddish was quite a surprise to his future family, but the Linges kept their promise and welcomed Victor warmly. At first, "Vytukas" (Viktor's new name) was carefully hidden, but the child quickly learned the Lithuanian language, mostly by hearing Ramutis speak. Viktor's instinct to hide when he senses danger—a lesson learned in the ghetto—also served him well.
When the Linges received guests, Viktor had to hide in the pantry, sometimes for several hours. Over time, "Vytukas" was introduced to Linge's relatives, who accepted the child as their own. In the middle of June 1944, as the front line approached Kaunas, Jonas and Stasė moved to Kačerginė. This place, which was supposed to be safer than a big city, quickly became a battlefield. Linge's house was turned into a German headquarters, the family had to move to a barn. In all the confusion of the war, the Germans ignored the dark-haired boy, who looked nothing like his parents or his brother. On August 1, the Russians entered. Linges returned to their home in Kaunas, where the boy was quickly found by his older sister Irina. Irina said that the child's mother went missing three days before the Germans left the ghetto while fleeing from the ghetto together with her sister Genia and her husband (according to other sources, Viktor's mother and aunt were very close to being saved: they managed to escape from the ghetto. Together with a group of other people, they walked across the bridge and met a stream of retreating Germans. After recognizing the ghetto escapees, the Germans shot them all.). After the war, Viktor and his sister Irina went to live with relatives in Moscow. Their mother's brother, Boris Makovskiy, helped Viktor continue to communicate with his rescuers. Until now, Viktor Pikelny considers Linges as his second parents. Currently, Viktor Pikelny, a physicist, still lives in Moscow. Both families are still friends.
From Ramutis Lingė’s memoirs:
While living in Kačerginė Ramutis with Viktor and other kids from the neighborhood went to the forest looking for forest strawberries. Meanwhile a German tanker passed by. He approached kids and asked them to swap their strawberries to the chocolate he had. Kids were more than happy so soldier decided to make them even happier and offered them to ride on his tank. That’s how, during Holocaust, a German soldier without knowing made an entertainment for Jewish boy.
Viktor Abram Pikelny
Jonas and Stasė