Obj. ID: 33495
Jewish Architecture Memorial plaque to Juozapas Stakauskas, Marija Mikulska, and Vladas Žemaitis in Vilnius, Lithuania, 2000
No official name.
Who is Commemorated?
Juozapas Stakauskas, Marija Mikulska, and Vladas Žemaitis: Righteous Among the Nations.
This plaque is located in the outer courtyard of the former Benedictine convent, near the gate to the inner courtyard.
It is a rectangular granite plaque with three bronze bas-relief portraits of Marija Mikulska, Juozapas Stakauskas, and Vladas Žemaitis, each inscribed with his or her name and the dates of their lives. Above the portraits, a Lithuanian inscription says “Righteous Among the Nations.” Below the portraits, the same phrase is repeated in Hebrew and an additional Lithuanian inscription reads: “Saved Jews from destruction.”
Pasalio tautų teisuoliai
Translation: Righteous Among the Nations
מחסידי אומות העולם
Translation: From the Righteous Among the Nations
1941 – 1944 m.
Gelbėję nuo pražūties žydus
Translation: Saved Jews from destruction
On the portraits, from left to right:
Sesuo Maria Mikulska 1903-1994
Kunigas Juozas Stakauskas 1900-1972
Mokytojas Vladas Žemaitis 1900-1980
The Benedictine Convent at 5 Šv. Ignoto Street was closed in 1940 by the Soviets. Under the Nazi occupation, it was used as the Vilnius State Archives with historian and priest, Dr. Juozapas Stakauskas (1900-1972) as its director. From September 1943 to July 1944, Stakauskas concealed twelve Jews in the archives. A part of a corridor and a monastic cell, where the Jews were hidden, was blocked by a new wall constructed by Vladas Žemaitis (1900-1980), who worked in the archives as a carpenter but was originally a teacher. Maria Mikulska (1903-1994), one of the remaining nuns who worked at the archives as a guard, provided the hidden Jews with food. Only these three people knew about the hidden Jews. The saved Jews were: Mira Rolnikaitė (a sister of the writer Maria Rolnikaitė), Dr. Alexander Libo with his wife Vera and daughter Luba, Meyta Markovska with her ten-years-old son Samuel Bak, the future painter, Sara, Yaakov and Monika Yoffe, Fira Kantorovich, Grigory and Irena Yasunski.
Juozapas Stakauskas, Marija Mikulska, and Vladas Žemaitis were recognized as Righteous Among the Nations in 1974.
The plaque was unveiled on September 22, 2000, on the initiative and with financing of Rimantas Stankevičius. Mira Lisauskienė (Rolnikaitė) and Vytautas Landsbergis participated in the ceremony.
Agranovskii, Genrikh and Irina Guzenberg. Vilnius: Po sledam Litovskogo Ierusalima. Pamiatnye mesta ereiskoi istorii i kul’tury, 2nd ed. (Vilnius: The Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum, 2016)., p. 503.
Guzenberg, Irina, Vilnius: Traces of the Jewish Jerusalem of Lithuania. Memorable Sites of Jewish History and Culture. A Guidebook (Vilnius: Pavilniai, 2021)., 515.
Guzenberg, Irina. Vilnius: Pamiatnye mesta evreiskoi istorii i kul'tury (Vilnius: Pavilniai, 2013)., 59.