* Recognized in 1995
About the rescuer and the rescue story
Petras and Ona Mikuličiai lived with their three children in Kaunas. During the war, Jews from the Kaunas ghetto, among whom was Klara Gelman, were sent to forced labor not far from their home. In the winter of 1942/1943, Klara Gelman decided to ask Ona and Petras Mikuličius to rescue her two-year-old niece Julija Remigolsky (later Flier). Despite the risk, Ona and Petras Mikuličius’ agreed to take in the tiny Jewish girl and took care of her like parents. Their son Vytautas became a real helper of his parents in rescuing little Julia. They started calling her Birutė. The girl quickly learned to speak Lithuanian; the neighbors were told that she was the daughter of Ona Mikuličienė's deceased sister.
As the front retreated to the West, misfortunes befell the family of rescuers Mikuličius. The Germans evacuated the family from their home, the Mikuličiai house burned to the ground. After a few days, when they returned to their homestead, they found only a pile of ashes, and Julija-Birutė’s mother and sister were sitting nearby and waiting for them.
Although Onutė and Petras Mikuličiai became very attached to the girl during that time, they immediately returned her to her mother Menacha Remigolskiene. Unfortunately, such a terrible end of the war, when he had to see the ashes of his homestead, broke the health of Petroas Mikuličius, after the end of the war he lived only half a year. Julija Remigolsky-Flier studied at the national M.K. Čiurlionis School of Arts, continued her studies at the Vilnius Conservatory, became an excellent violinist, later emigrated to Canada with her mother.
In 1995, Ona and Petras Mikuličius’ were recognized as Yad Vashem Righteous Among the Nations. In 1996, when the ambassador of Israel, Tova Herzl, came to present the Righteous Among the Nations medal to Ona Mikuličiene, Julia Flier also came to congratulate her. Then she said that her real life began with salvation. If she, then a little girl, had died, she would not have had two daughters of her owns.
Memories of M. MARGOLINIENĖ.
From: "And unarmed soldiers", compiled by S. Binkienė, publishing house "Mintis", Vilnius, 1967
In the fall of 1944, on the eve of the children's campaign, Julija Remigolsky was taken out of the Kaunas ghetto, asleep in a bag. She was two years and four months old. She was taken to Petras Mikuličius, who lived in Aleksota. Julė survived in this family until the liberation of Kaunas. She was then returned to her mother.
Petras Mikuličius worked in the railway. He treated Jule like a real father, took care of her. The surrounding residents were told that the girl was the daughter of Mikuličius's dead daughter. Until the child got used to the new place, Petras slept with her in the same room. When the Hitlerites were retreating the order was given to evacuate the population, Mikuličius, being sick, carried the girl for 30 kilometers, he hurried to get her a bottle of water instead of medicine for himself.
All this was done without any deductions.
Petras Mikuličius is no longer among the living. His wife lives in Skaudvilė with her daughter. Mikuličienė, whom Julė still calls mother, does not forget her stepdaughter, and comes to visit her every year. This year she was at Jules' wedding.
Julė Remigolskytė graduated from the conservatory, violin class this year.
Rescued persons (Yad Vashem web page):
Information collected using:
Ona and Petras
Ona with Julija Remigolsky on the left and Isreal's ambasador Tova Hercl on the right. 1996