Jekaterina Minkeviciene, Lithuania

In autumn of 1943, a stranger came to the house of Jekaterina and Sergius Minkeviciene, where they lived in Vilna, Lithuania. The woman begged the couple to hide her six-year-old daughter Golda, and even though they were already taking care of their own three children, they agreed. The next night, Golda was brought over. Malnourished and sick, she was in dire need of a doctor. In fear of being caught, the couple bribed the police and said that their own children were sick. A Jewish doctor was allowed to come from the ghetto to the home to treat the girl. From then on, Golda was treated like another one of the children.

Sergius was a worker in a sugar factory, and in 1944, all workers were sent to Germany, so the family, including Golda, went to live with Sergius’s father. In order to hide Golda on their journey, she was placed in a barrel, which they kept in their cart. Later, the Germans took over Sergius’s father’s house, and the family was forced to escape once again. This time, there was no place to run to, so the family lived in bunkers in the forest. Soon, Russians arrived and began to murder all the peasants, so the family fled once more.

After the war, the Minkeviciene family learned that Golda’s family had been murdered during the Holocaust. Jekaterina thought that it was necessary for Golda to be raised in a Jewish family, so she was put in the care of a Jewish doctor, and Holocaust survivor, named Dr. Goldbergas. He adopted her, and together they left for Israel, which was Palestine at the time.

Edited by Lauren Goldfarb