- September 20, 2019
President presented Crosses of the Salvation of the Dying. Poles among the awarded
President Gitanas Nausėda awarded Crosses of the Salvation of the Dying [Lithuanian: Žūvančiųjų gelbėjimo kryžius, TN] to people who saved Jews from extermination during World War II.
Crosses were awarded to 38 people, for the majority – after death. The decorations were received by their relatives. Only four people received their awards in person.
Among the awarded were Maria and Antoni Kruminis-Łozowski from Jašiūnai, who saved 4-year-old Rachela Fridman during the occupation. After the war, the girl was looked after by her brother and older cousins, who also survived the war. In 2005, the Israeli Institute of National Remembrance Yad Vashem awarded Kruminis-Łozowskis the title of “Righteous Among the Nations.”
Crosses of the Salvation of the Dying were presented on the occasion of the Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is celebrated in Lithuania on 23rd September. On this day in 1943, the Vilnius ghetto was liquidated.
During World War II, the Nazis and their collaborators killed over 90 per cent of people of Jewish nationality. At that time, over 200,000 Jews lived in Lithuania.
Translated by Marta Bednarczyk within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.