* Recognized in 2006
Alsėdžiai village cemetery, Plungė district
About the rescuer and the rescue story
Ignas Pagojus was married to a woman with whom he had two children - Domicelė born in 1889 and Julius born in 1894. After the death of the children's mother, Ignas got married a second time - to Ieva. He had three more children with Ieva - one of the sons was Baltramiejus born in 1897. When Ignas died, Ieva remarried and had one more child in her second marriage - a son, Zenonas Smilgevičius. Thus the family had more than one marriage and at least 6 children, not all with the same surname. Ignas and his family lived in the village of Vilkaičiai, near Telšiai. He was a simple peasant with little land.
Baltramiejus Pagojus married Kotryna around 1944. The family had a son Edvardas in 1945 and a daughter Ieva in 1951. At first the family lived in Telšiai district, later they moved to Kotryna's homeland in Plungė district. Baltramiejus was a simple, modest man - he worked the land. However, Baltramiejus was distinguished by his ability to enjoy the little things - a beautiful flower bursting into bloom, or a tree in spring. His unbusinesslike manner was admired by his neighbours. Sometimes Baltramėius would be scolded by his wife, who did not understand why he did not mow everything when he went out to mow, to which Baltramėjus would reply that the little tree was so beautiful that he could not bear to cut it down. But most of all, Baltramiejus loved horses - Baltramiejus's daughter Ieva remembers her father getting up on cold winter nights to make "tea" for the horses to keep them warm. And he wouldn't lend his horse to neighbours for farm work, unless they agreed that he could watch them work - he wanted to be sure that the animal was being treated well.
Domicėlė Pagojutė, Baltramiejus and Julius‘s sister, who took care of the young children from Telšiai, Yehoshua and Chaim Shochot, throughout the war, brought eight-year-old Yehoshua-Stasiuk to Domicėlė and Zenonas Smilgevičius, who lived with Zenonas' brother Baltramiejus Pagojus in the village of Vilkai in the Telšiai district.
From the memoirs of Yehoshua Šochot:
I felt very well in that family, they treated me like their own child... I became friends very quickly with Vytautas, the son of Zenonas Smilgevičius, who was a couple of years younger than me. Zenonas's wife, who was actually the owner of the farm, took special care of me. I remember well how she used to feed me with the milk of a freshly milked cow. She used to encourage me to drink it, saying that it was very healthy to drink such milk... As in all families, in those days, everyone in the villages worked, who could. I worked too. One of my jobs was to pick up stones from the field after the field had been sown and dug, but the crops had not yet sprouted. After the war, when I was living in Telšiai and Baltramiejus used to visit us sometimes, he would always meet me and tell me that the pile of stones I had collected was still there, and that he always remembered me when he saw it...
Rescued persons (Yad Vashem web page):
Domicėlė and Baltramiejus are sitting
Reizl Shochot with Haim and Joshua. 1936