TE15 Lithuanian Honey Cake

Irena Veisaitė & Aurimas Švedas

During the shooting and bombing, the residents of the building would hide in the basement. A few times the building superintendent asked me to give him the keys, saying that he had to regularly check the third-floor apartments in case fires had not begun in them. I did not give him the keys, but a few times I took him and some of the other neighbours to check the apartment. Not realizing that I could understand some Polish (since I spoke Russian perfectly) the neighbours were constantly gossiping about Mrs. Ladigienė’s family and me. Czy ona żydówka?—I heard them ask each other a few times. 16 Of course, I did not give myself away; I knew that if the Germans should win Trakų Street from the Russians yet another time, the neighbours could report me. I remember how, five days into my “imprisonment,” it was a Thursday, and my nerves were at a breaking- point. The days were very hot. It seemed as though the air itself was quivering from the heat. Moreover, the constant tension and the brutal killing taking place before our eyes were very hard to handle. The final drop of horror, after which I lost my self-control, was the following episode . . . I believe it was on Wednesday that a gang of Russian soldiers—they were sixteen- year-old boys—turned into Trakų Street from Pylimo Street. There were about thirty of them. A German tank stood hidden behind a chapel on Pranciškonų Street, which runs into Trakų Street. As the Russian soldiers

16 “Is she a Jewess?” [Pol.]


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