The following is a revised text of Dovid Katz’s obituary that appeared on his Facebook page today.
Roza Bieliauskienė (1946-2023)
The world of Jewish Vilna and Litvaks everywhere mourn in deep sorrow the untimely sudden death of our dear Roza (Róze, Reyzl) Bieliauskienė, beloved scholar of Lithuanian Jewish art, long time historian, museum curator, educator, guide and a loyal friend unafraid of untoward local politics and its boycotts. Whether for an old friend or a foreigner she’d never seen before, Roza would rush to help anyone research anything if it was in the field of Lithuanian Jewish culture, history. Here is our 2 hour+ interview with her (entirely in Yiddish) from less than a year ago (recorded and posted in the Lithuanian Yiddish Video Archive (LYVA) thanks to the generosity of Remembering Litvaks Inc).
In the interview, she recounts with frankness and dignity the tragedy of how she and others were terminated at the state’s official Jewish Museum during one of the purges intending to turn it largely into a pure-ethno-Lithuanian state public relations unit. Roza, a cofounder of the museum, had been its chief curator, and she built its collections into a substantial museum.