27 November 2006

Shoah survivor's NY reunion with family that saved her

The Washington Times reported on the recent reunion of Holocaust survivor Lea (Port) Ingel, 84, and Giedrute Ramanauskiene, 74, a daughter of the Lithuanian Catholic family that saved her.

The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous facilitated the reunion at New York's JFK Airport.

Only some 9,000 Lithuanian Jews survived from a prewar population of 235,000. The women had remained in contact over the years through letters. Ingel left the country in 1945; her friend still lives on the farm where Ingel hid.

In 1943, Lea Port and her future husband Samuel Ingel, fled the Kovno ghetto and joined a Jewish partisan group. After 10 days in a forest near Simnas, they were the only group members alive. A Communist also in hiding took them to his sister Elena Ivanauskai and her husband Petras. Ingel grew close to the family's daughter, Giedrute.

Ingel and Port stayed at the farm until August 1944, when the Russians arrived and the couple no longer had to hide. They got married and moved to America.

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