Sara Ushpitsene with her husband Meishe Ushpits and Sakiai Jews

These are the Jews of Sakiai, the survivors of the Great Patriotic War against the background of the monument devoted to the perished Jews of Sakiai. The monument was erected next to the common grave on donations from the Jews. I am the sixth to the right in the first row. To the left from me is my husband Meishe Ushpits. Esterson is the first to the left, to the right is Furman. I don?t remember the rest. Some of them died, others immigrated. The picture was taken in the early 1960s. We tried to observe Jewish traditions the best way we could. We went to the synagogue with our children on Sabbath and on holidays. Both of us were members of the Jewish religious community of Kaunas in the Soviet years, which was quite frowned upon, to put it mildly. The monument to the perished Jews in Sakiai was set up on the donations from the relatives of the perished. We went there every year on the day of execution. When our children grew up, we took them with us. We told them about things that took place during the war. I communicated with Lithuanians and with Jews. Both Lithuanians and Russians treated me very well at work. I felt no anti-Semitism. My children identified themselves as Jews. Yiddish was spoken at home. At the age of 13 we celebrated our son's bar mitzvah. Unfortunately, my mother didn't live to see that, but my father and brother were very happy to see it.