1891 - 1967

Recognized 2005 

Buried in Užventis cemetery,

Kelmės district, Lithuania

Graveyard coordinates:
55,78 66 58 (š. pl.)

22,65 62 46 (r. ilg.)

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Doctor Petras Girbudas, b.1892, resided in the small town of Užventis, (Šiauliai District). He was widowed in the late 1930s and lived with his two young sons. From the first day of the German occupation, Petras Girbudas was shocked by the attitude of many of his town’s dwellers toward their Jewish neighbors and tried to do his best to ease their sufferings. After the Jews were incarcerated in the alcohol factory cellar, situated in the vicinity of Užventis, Petras visited them and urged them to escape and hide. Only a few of these Jews listened to Petras after the killing of 100 Jewish men in the nearby Pašilve forest on July 30, 1941. After December 8, there were no Jews officially left in Užventis, but a dozen of survivors were still hiding with friendly Lithuanians in the area. In April 1942, Petras received a note from one of his former patients, Rachel Leshem (née Zakuta), who pleaded for help. Rachel and another 11 Jewish men, women and children were desperately looking for a safe shelter after a stranger in their previous hideout noticed them. Petras could not accept them in his house, always crowded with patients, but he promised to find trustworthy and ready-to-help families. Indeed, he contacted Petras Klimas*, a farmer from the nearby village of Pabutkalnis, and the latter agreed to help. At first, all 12 Jews came to his farm and hid in the barn, and after several weeks some of them dispersed among other Lithuanian families: Černiauskas*, Juškevičius*, Šleževičius* and some others sheltered and fed those who were sent to them by Dr. Petras Girbudas. The latter cared for those in hiding by bringing them food and clothing, curing the ill, and encouraging those whose spirits were low. In all Petras’s deeds, he had the support of his friend, the Catholic Priest Polikarpas Macijauskas, who headed the women’s monastery in Kolainiai, some 15 km from Užventis. From the end of 1941, the Jewish woman Basja Brojde lived in the monastery, disguised as a nun. Basja had survived the massacre in her native town of Kelmė but had lost her husband and children. In 1942, Brojde was joined, for two months, by 15-year-old Chana Pelc from Telšiai. The girl had a document in a Lithuanian name and only Father Macijauskas knew her true identity. In every sermon, the priest told his parishioners about their Christian duty to help the persecuted and openly talked about helping Jews. In the cellar of his house, adjacent to the monastery, Jews could always find rest and shelter. The survivors related later that the priest used to say Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, reminded the survivors about the Jewish holidays and did not approve of those of his co-religionists who were helping only baptized Jews. In the course of time, his attitude became widely known and Father Macijauskas himself became a target for antisemites. In the last months of the German occupation, he was urged to go into hiding at one of his parishioners’ homes. After the war, the survivors moved to bigger cities, mostly to Vilnius, and later left Lithuania for Israel or for the U.S.A. Among those helped by Dr. Girbudas and Father Macijauskas were Rachel Leshem (later, Kacev) and her mother-in-law Riva Leshem, Esther Blecher (later, Kreingel) with her mother-in-law Musia Blecher, Bluma Shachnovich and her sister Chaja, the Chalozin brothers, Simcha Magid with his son, Ita Swer, and others.
More information will be available soon
girbudas su sunumis ricardu-adomu ir leo
Rachelė Kacav
Ester Krengel 
Basia Braudienė
Chana Pelcaitė Zakienė 
Sara Olšvangaitė-Montvilienė
ir kiti