Magazine

The Lithuanian link

Sara Manobla explores her family roots in the town of Zagare.

THE LAST Jew of Zagare, Isaac Mendelssohn, poses with his wife, Aldona
Photo by: ROD FREEDMAN
On July 13, 2012, veteran Israel Radio broadcaster Sara Manobla served as master of ceremonies at a memo- rial ceremony in the Lithu- anian town of Zagare, for the 3,000 Jews slaughtered there in 1941 by the Nazis and their local collaborators. For Manobla, the dedication of the memorial plaque in the town center was not only the culmination of a journey exploring her own family roots there, but “a gesture of reconciliation and acceptance.”

The climax came eight months later, though, on March 19, 2013. Manobla personally tracked down Ruth Yoffe, who as a little girl had been hidden and saved by a Zagarean family together with her grandmother during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania, and now lives in Jerusalem, not far from Manobla’s own home. In a moving ceremony held in Zagare, members of the Levinskas family joined Manobla, her son Ze’ev and cousin Joy in Zagare to receive the title of Righteous Among the Nations.



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