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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus


THE ALLEY OF THE RIGHTEOUS: Danielius ir Marija Jurkai

Published: 2021-02-15


Jacob and Julia Rosijanski together with their 17-year-old daughter Zofia managed to escape from the Vilna Ghetto as it was being liquidated. They first asked their acquaintances for help, however, all of them refused to take them in. Someone suggested that they try their luck with some really very good people who they did not know by the name of Marija and Danielius Jurkus. They and their 12-year-old son Algirdas lived in Vilnius, in Žvėrynas district. Danielius Jurkus had the courage to shelter the Rosijanskis; he gave them a separate room and took care of them until the Nazis retreated from Vilnius despite the fact that the burden and the risk that he and his family faced as a result was huge. Nevertheless, Danielius Jurkus did what, according to his own words, every decent person should have been doing in times like these. Members of the anti-Nazi underground movement of the Poles of Vilnius provided all three members of the Rosijanskis family with forged documents bearing Polish names. In spring 1944, Rosijanskis’ daughter Zofia was transferred to live with Maria Deimart who took care of her as if she was her own child. After the war the Rosijanskis family emigrated. They wrote a heartfelt thank you letter to Marija and Danielius Jurkus, and a testimony about the fearless assistance of Danielius Jurkus and his wife Marija who saved their lives.
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