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).
Posted in Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Obituaries, Roza Bieliauskienė
Tagged Jews in Vilnius, Lithuania + Jews, Roza Bieliauskiene, Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum of Lithuania, Yiddish in Vilnius, ראָזאַ ביעליאַוסקיענע
Jacob Piliansky (1946-2018)
Several dozen Vilnius Jews turned up today for the funeral of Jacob Piliansky at the city’s current Jewish cemetery at Sudervės 28. Decades ago, Piliansky, an engineer by trade, relocated to Washington DC (and for a time to the Netherlands) where he built a new life and career. But when his mother back in Vilnius, the legendary Dobke Jonis, turned ninety, he decided to return to his native Lithuania and live with her for the remainder of their years. Dobke (Dora Piliansky, 1912–2014), who passed away at age 102, was a cultural icon of her shtetl Zézmer (today’s Žiežmariai), whose prolific writings and drawings remain a testament, as does her testimony on the bestial brutality of the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front) fascists in June 1941 who turned back Jewish escapees on the roads to ensure they would be trapped in the Nazi choke-hold. She brought up her children — Jacob (Yasha, Yankl) and his older sister Fréydke (Frida Piliansky Zavalkovsky, 1942–2016) — to stand proudly for historic truth and to fear nothing and nobody when it comes to telling the story of Lithuanian Jewry in its homeland. Or plain and simple, to stand up for what is right. Such folks do not often enjoy lifetimes of unbroken popularity or the easiest of times.
Posted in Jacob Piliansky, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Obituaries, Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius)
Tagged Defending Holocaust History, Dobke Jonis, Jacob Piliansky, Jews in Vilnius, Simon Gurevich, Simonas Gurevicius, Vilnius Jewish community