The parents of the president of Lithuania will soon be honored as Righteous Gentiles for their efforts to rescue Jews during World War II, officials at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial here announced over the weekend.
Lithuanian President Adolphas Slezevicius’ parents, Vladas and Ursula, hid five Jews in their home for three months during 1942. They even went so far as to prepare kosher food for them while they were in hiding.
When local villagers threatened to burn down the house where they were being hid, the five Jews fled to the forests. But they would return to the Slezevicius’ home from time to time for a hasty meal or a night’s rest.
Yad Vashem decided to honor the couple after hearing testimony from four of the people who sought shelter in the Slezevicius’ home – Rachel Katzav and Shalom Katz, who live in Israel; and Chana and Feige Katz, who reside in Lithuania.