rescuers of jews

Rudzianskienė Marijona


The family of the famous Kaunas violin player Michael Hofmekler – his wife Perale and daughter Dalya – settled in the Kaunas Ghetto in Linkuvos Street 56 together with their relatives - the Segalson family and a few other neighbours. Some time after rumours were heard about forthcoming Children’s Actions and Perale Hofmekler arranged it with Marijona Rudzianskienė, whom she knew before the war as a housekeeper of the Segalson family, that she will try to rescue little Dalya. On a certain day Dalya was hidden inside a small kitchen cupboard, which was taken in a cart outside the ghetto territory, where Marijona was waiting for her. It was done with the help of the German soldier named Bretter, who was guarding the gate of the ghetto. This soldier was known to be helping Jews. Marijona took the girl to her relatives, who lived in a village not far from Jonava. The neighbours were informed that the girl was Marijona’s daughter. The local priest christened the girl under the name of Jadvyga. The elderly couple was taking care of Dalya, taught her prayers. But the happiest days for Dalya were when Marijona came to visit her, bringing sweets and presents. After Kaunas was liberated, Marijona took the girl to the Jewish orphanage in Kaunas, where she was found by her mother Perale later. Perale and her daughter Dalya were in very close relations with Marijona until their departure to Israel. While in Israel, they have been writing letters to Marijona, but when the latter moved to a new place they lost trace of her and only when the TV programme “Menora” announced search on the TV, Marijona’s relatives have been found.