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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus



Published: 2020-11-10


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The writer Jonas Ruzgys approached the gates of the Vilna Ghetto determined to help his pre-war acquaintance Liza Aizenberg, whose husband had been killed by the Nazis during the first days of the war. Liza and her two-year-old daughter Rita ended up in the Vilna Ghetto Liza Aizenberg remembered the words of Jonas Ruzgys which he uttered at the ghetto gate: ‘I came to restore faith in man’. This was the moment when the fight for Liza Aizenberg’s and her daughter Rita’s life began. At first Ruzgys managed to hospitalise Rita in the eye clinic as a Karaite. However, soon suspicions were aroused and he took her to his home. Soon afterwards he arranged for the escape of her mother from the ghetto. Accompanied by Stasė and Jonas Ruzgys, Liza successfully reached their home and spent two and a half worrisome and anxious years in a hideout in their flat Stanislava and Jonas Ruzgys also organised the risk rescue of Marija Petuchauskienė and her son Markas. It all began with Markas’ and his mother’s escape from the Vilna Ghetto to the Ruzgys’ flat. Later, accompanied by Stasė Ruzgienė, the Petuchauskas reached their other rescuers in Šiauliai – Rozalija and Jackus Sondeckis. If not for the help extended by the Ruzgys, the sisters Fania and Rebeka Feldman would not have survived either. The Ruzgys would bring food to their hideout and even took them to their own home at the most critical time, nursed them when they fell ill and found a reliable woman at whose place the sisters lived until the end of the Nazi occupation.
From: Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe
Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, Vilnius, 2019
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