4 Lithuanian families recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem

Four Lithuanian families were posthumously awarded the title of “Righteous Among the Nations” by the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center for saving Jews during the Holocaust.

The medals and certificates were presented to the descendants of Juozapas and Marijona Bagurskas; Aksentij, Martriona, and their daughter Zinaida Burlakova; Kazimieras and Marcijona Ruzgys; and Jonas and Ona Žvinklevičius, who were all determined to have risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust for altruistic reasons.

The awards were presented by Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan, who was in Lithuania this week on an official visit.

Israeli Ambassador to Lithuania Hadas Wittenberg Silverstein and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė attended the event, as did Maksim Broer, who was rescued by the Bagurskas family and traveled back to Lithuania to participate in the ceremony.

Another Holocaust survivor, Chaya Landau, who was rescued by the Ruzgys, sent a video statement that was shown at the event at the Government Palace in Vilnius.

“The world has never found a vaccination against antisemitism, which once again seems to be a pandemic,” Landau said in her remarks. “However, the Ruzgys family, and few others like them, were naturally immune to this horrible disease… they had the sense of nobility and courage to confront evil and were a beacon of light in humanity’s darkest hour.”


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