A Wonderful Thanksgiving Story

Yesterday the New York Daily News posted a story about a reunion between Aurimas Ruzgys, 81, his sister, Egle, 83, and Mary Katz Erlich, 83. Aurimas Ruzgys and his sister, Egle, were Mary Katz Erlich’s Lithuanian playmates who helped save her from the Holocaust.

The New York Daily News reports:

The reunion was arranged by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. Missing only was the Ruzgys’ older sister, Miele, who died a few years ago.

Katz Erlich was a kid herself when the Germans took over her small Lithuanian town and began rounding up the Jews.

Her father, Srolis, and brother, Leibel, were marched off to a forest, placed in a pit, and shot. Somehow the bullets missed her dad and he escaped.

Srolis Katz fetched his wife and daughter and together they sought shelter with the devout Catholic wife of a local farmer who shopped at the Katz family’s store.

Leokadija Ruzgys let them stay for three years, hiding them in a small room where she stored potatoes and in a smokehouse out back.

After the reunion, the three headed off to Mary Katz Erlich’s daughter’s house in New York to enjoy Thanksgiving with members of the extended family of Mary Katz Erlich who would not exist without the actions of the Ruzgys.

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