Tag Archives: Simon Malkes

Simon Malkes Perpetuates Memory of Vilna Rescuer Karl Plagge


by Simon Malkes (Paris)

Simon Malkes


I was born in 1927 in the city whose official name was then Wilno, Poland (historically Vilna, today’s Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania). When I was fourteen, the Nazis took over the city, began murdering its Jewish population and set up the Vilna Ghetto. My own survival is due to my having been taken as a teenage repairman of German military vehicles at the plant known as HKP (Heereskraftfahrpark or Army Motor Vehicle Repair Park) on Subotsh Street (today’s Subačiaus). That one enterprise was under the directorship of Major Karl Plagge (1897–1957), a righteous gentile who did everything he could to protect as many Jewish workers as possible from the huge murder machine. Famously, shortly before the Nazi flight from the Soviet army in the summer of 1944, he gave a coded warning to his workers about a need for imminent escape.

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Simon Malkes Speaks at the Lithuanian Parliament

The following is the text provided by the office of Simon Malkes (Paris) of the speech he delivered at a conference held at the Lithuanian parliament on 22 September 2013, as part of the series of events of the Fourth International Litvak Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania. Mr. Malkes, a Vilna native and survivor of the Vilna Ghetto, is president of the ORT school network.

Simon Malkes (right) speaks to an old friend on Gedimino Boulevard in central Vilnius, after his speech at a session of the Fourth International Litvak Congress held at the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas).

My name is Simon Malkes. I am a French citizen, living in Paris since 1952. I am a rare survivor, among the less than one percent of Vilna Jewry. I survived thanks to the German officer Karl Plagge who managed the HKP automobile works camp in Vilnius between 1941 and 1944. In 2005, I succeeded to obtain from Yad Vashem in Jerusalem the Righteous Among the Nations title, posthumously, for Karl Plagge.

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Note: Each author is exclusively responsible for his or her signed contribution. DH’s transparency policy does not permit use of pseudonyms (with the one exception of legendary Vilna wag Motke Chabad). The editor is responsible for unsigned posts. We respect the right of reply and welcome submissions (at: info@defendinghistory.com).

Genrich Agranovski

Shimon Alperovich

Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis

Yitzhak Arad

Evaldas Balčiūnas

Chaim Bargman

Stanley H. Barkan

Ruth Barnett

Danny Ben-Moshe

Didier Bertin

Saulius Beržinis

Roland Binet

Herbert Block

Ruta (Reyzke) Bloshtein

Aleksandras Bosas

Valentinas Brandišauskas

Frank Brendle

Wyman Brent

Franziska Bruder

Chaim Burshtein

Motke Chabad

Milan Chersonski

Josh Cohen

Rachel Croucher

David Cukier

Algis Davidavičius

Denis Daneman

Alan Dershowitz

Leonidas Donskis

Shmuel Jacob Feffer

Aleksandrs Feigmanis

Pinchos Fridberg

Berel Fried

Alexander Gogun

Ira Gold

Eleonora Groisman

Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius)

Kevin Hamilton

Clemens Heni

Leena Hietanen

Mikhail Iossel

Lord Janner of Braunstone

Agnieszka Jablonska 

Peter Jukes

Sergey Kanovich

Leon Kaplan

Dovid Katz

Rafael Katz

Juris Kaža

Viktorija Kazliene

Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

Regina Kopilevich

Rachel Kostanian

Tzvi-Hirsh Kritzer

Faina Kukliansky

Andrius Kulikauskas

Aleksandr Kuzmin

Sid (Shnayer) Leiman

Dov Levin

Michael Levinas

Joseph Levinson

Miriam Kagan (Kahn) Lieber

Monica Lowenberg

Michael and Fausta Maass

Denis MacShane

Simon Malkes

Joseph Melamed

Dr. Rachel Margolis

Ivo Mosley

Julius Norwilla 

Josifas Parasonis

Jacob Piliansky

Faye Ran

Moss Robeson

Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe

Per Anders Rudling

Kamilė Rupeikaitė

Danutė Selčinskaja

Michael Shafir

Anna Shepherd

Janusz Skolimowski 

Ken Slade

Andres Spokoiny

Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė

Birutė Ušinskaitė

Rūta Vanagaitė

Geoff Vasil

Nida Vasiliauskaitė

Tomas Venclova

Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson

Arkadijus Vinokuras

Aleksandras Vitkus

Gert Weisskirchen

Olga Zabludoff

Lina Žigelytė

Markas Zingeris

Efraim Zuroff

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