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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus


THE ALLEY OF THE RIGHTEOUS: Petras Povilaika, Ona Povilaikienė, Konstancija Povilaikaitė (Babinskienė)

Published: 2023-03-27
In 1944, 17-year-old Konstancija Povilaikaitė (later – Babinskienė) studied at the Vilkaviškis gymnasium and rented a flat in Vilkaviškis together with her co-students. One day the landlords’ relatives from Kaunas brought a 2-year-old girl who spoke only Yiddish and whom they had found left in a cradle in front of their house. They had brought her to Vilkaviškis because they were afraid to keep her in Kaunas. When Konstancija heard her landlords saying that they did not intend to keep the Jewish girl here either, she decided to rescue her. For ten kilometres she carried the girl in her arms to her parents’ home in Kuosiai village close to Lankeliškiai. Konstancijas’ parents Ona and Petras Povilaika were poor farmers, however they approved of their daughters’ decision and took excellent care of the little Vitutė, while Konstancija returned to Vilkaviškis to continue with her studies. Only when the front line approached did it become clear that Vitutė’s real name was Aviva and that she was a daughter of a lawyer from Kaunas Benesh Tkatsch. Aviva Tkatsch-Sandler lives in the USA and keeps in touch with the relatives of her rescuers.
From: Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe
Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, Vilnius, 2019
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