PRIEST JUOZAPAS GASIŪNAS
1901 - 1989
Buried in Lauko Soda village,
Telšiai district, Lithuania
55,89 28 77 (š. pl.)
22,25 72 13 (r. ilg.)
In December 1941, 14-year-old Roza Širaitė, a native of Varniai, in the Telšiai County, fled theTelšiai ghetto. She headed for the villages near her hometown, where she hoped to find shelter with one of the peasant families. When she came to the village of Karkliškiai, Širaitė was welcomed into the home of the fisherman Vladas Vasiliauskas, and his family. Vasiliauskas and his sisters, Stasė and Veronika, helped Širaitė, and without asking anything in return, took fish and bread to Jews interned in the Šiauliai and Telšiai ghettos. When the risk of Širaitė’s continued stay in the village increased, Vasiliauskas decided to move her to the home of his relatives Danielius and Juzefa Radavičius, who lived in the village of Govija. This rescue effort was joined by the Varniai priest, Father Juozas Gasiūnas, who at various times, hid seven Jews in his home. To prevent anyone discovering Širaitė’s presence, Gasiūnas made sure she never stayed in one place for very long. For this purpose, he enlisted the help of Elzbieta Duzinskaitė (later Šervienė) and Genovaitė Pupsytė (later Laurinaitienė), two young Lithuanian women who gave Širaitė support and from time to time sheltered her in their home. Among those who were also helped by Father Gasiūnas were Shalom Katz and his sisters Feige, Chana and Ita.
After the war, Shalom Katz immigrated to Israel, the rest, including Širaitė (later Goldinštein) remained in Lithuania. On May 26, 1997, Yad Vashem recognized Vladas Vasiliauskas, Stasė Vasiliauskytė, Veronika Vasiliauskytė, Danielius Radavičius, Juzefa Radavičienė, Juozas Gasiūnas, Elzbieta Duzinskaitė-Šervienė, and Genovaitė Pupsytė-Laurinaitienė as Righteous Among the Nations.
More information will be available soon
Chaja Roza Šeraitė-Goldinštein
Feiga Kacaitė (Sabaliauskienė Zita)
CHAJA ROZA ŠERAITĖ - GOLDINŠTEIN IS GIVING SPEECH DURING
JUOZAPAS GASIŪNAS' FUNERAL