TE15 Lithuanian Honey Cake

Irena Veisaitė & Aurimas Švedas

would only pin them on lightly, so that I could quickly remove them after passing through the gates. I would then slip away from the column of workers. I can remember how long we seemed to wait by the policemen’s booth near the ghetto gates; the brigade was late that day. Usually, the evening brigade would leave for work in the city at four in the afternoon, but this time it only left after six. The column was escorted by a “white armband” with a gun, or it may have been a Lithuanian policeman . . . 4 Everything seemed to be going smoothly. The most frightening moment was when I had to leave the column. Had the guard noticed me, he would certainly have shot me on the spot. I can remember taking a step away from the column and toward the sidewalk. I felt as though the guard’s weapon was aimed at my back. I walked slowly toward the sidewalk while repeating a single thought in my mind: “Don’t panic! Don’t rush! Stay calm! Don’t give yourself away!” Thank God that the guard did not notice me slip away. From Krikščiukaičio Street, I turned toward Jurbarko Street, which leads to the bridge where Onutė was supposed to be waiting for me. But I did not find her at the arranged spot because, as I explained earlier, I was more than two hours late for our meeting. 4 It is known that, at the time of Irena Veisaitė’s escape from Kaunas ghetto, the so-called baltaraisčiai [“white armbands”] had been disbanded (that took place in the summer of 1941). The brigade that was walking to do work in the city was therefore most likely led by a policeman.


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