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I Begged Her To Escape … (cont.)

Unveiling Ceremony of the Memorial Monument
for the Ponivezh Victims of the Holocaust

Avraham Levitt: This is one of the very few monuments in Lithuania with a Star of David on it. Russian soldiers also attended the ceremony.

I was among those active in collecting money for the erection of the Memorial Monument for the Ponivezh Victims of the Holocaust, along with my friend Shmuel Peipert, whose name is linked with the rescue of Jewish children after the war. He managed to sell the horse and cattle farm that had belonged to his family, and dedicated the money received from the sale to a lofty purpose: he traveled among the townlets of Lithuania, gathered together Jewish children who had been hidden with Gentiles and brought them to orphanages in Kovno and Vilna. When he used to come to the orphanage – I accompanied him many times – the children used to run up to him shouting “Tate, Tate (Dad, Dad)!” I get emotional over this picture to this day.

One day Shmuel learned that there was a Jewish girl in a certain townlet. He negotiated with the Gentiles who had charge of her, and promised to pay them for her. When he arrived in that place, the Gentiles caught him and chopped off his head.

Berl Zemachowitz: This happened between New Year and Yom Kippur 5708 (September 1947).


Shmuel Peipert holding the rescued child Beni Chayatas


Earth from the killing place in Ponivezh is brought
for burial in the “Yizkor Tent” at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

Avraham Levitt beside the grave, in the prayer shawl


Avraham Levitt: When I made aliya to Israel in 1971, I brought earth from the killing place in Ponivezh with me, which was brought here for burial.
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