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Satchel carried by partisans in Lithuania

Object | Accession Number: 1996.2.5

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    Satchel carried by partisans in Lithuania


    approximately 1941-1942
    use: Lithuania
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sara Ginaitė-Rubinsonienė
    Subject: Sara Ginaitė-Rubinsonienė
    Sara Ginaitė-Rubinsonienė (1924-2018) was born Sara Ginaitė on March 17, 1924 in Kovno, Lithuania (Kaunas, Lithuania) to Josif Ginas (1892-1941) and Rebecca Virovichiute Giniene (1896?-1945). She had one sister, Alice Ginaite (1918-2006, born Zlata Ginaite, later Alice Benn). Her parents married in Lithuania in 1915. Sara’s father worked as an intermediary between several foreign businesses that sold raw materials and Lithuanian factory owners. Before the war Sara attended a Jewish high school. Her family was not orthodox, but was observant of Jewish holidays.

    The Soviet Union invaded and occupied Lithuania in June 1940. Sara’s family was evicted from their apartment by the Red Army. Her sister married Philip Benjaminovichius (d. 1969) in January 1941. Germany violated the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with the Soviet Union in June 1941, and invaded and occupied Lithuania the same month. After the invasion, anti-Communist pro-German Lithuanians initiated a violent pogrom against Jews in Kovno, whom they accused of being Soviet sympathizers. Three of Sara's uncles, Isaac, Solomon and Abrasha Virovitchius, were murdered during the pogrom. Their mother, Malke Viraviciene, died shortly afterwards. Sara and her family were forced into the Kovno Ghetto by August 1941. She soon joined the underground resistance group Anti‐Fascist Organization (AFO). Sara married Misha Rubinsonas (1923-1977), an active member and leader of the youth branch of the AFO, in the Kovno Ghetto on November 7, 1943. His sister, Sonia Rubinsonaite (d. 1945), was also active in the AFO.

    In December 1943, Sara, Misha, and a group of 15 others escaped the ghetto and lived in the nearby Rudninkai Forest, forming a partisan group named the “Death to Occupiers.” The partisans gained an additional 300 members by the spring of 1944. The Kovno Ghetto was liquidated in July 1944. Sara’s mother and sister were deported to Stutthof, and Alice’s husband Philip was deported to Dachau.

    Sara, along with a detachment of the resistance group, marched southeast to Vilnius, Lithuania, where they assisted other resistance fighters in liberating the city. After its liberation, Sara and Misha settled in Vilnius. Their daughter Anya was born in 1946, and the couple adopted Tanya, whose parents were relatives of Sara’s mother, and were killed during the Holocaust. Sara became a political economics professor, and later moved to Canada. Her book Resistance and Survival : The Jewish Community in Kaunas 1941-1944 was published in 1999.

    Sara's father Josif had cancer, and died in Kovno Ghetto in 1941. Her mother Rebecca died in Stutthof. Alice and her husband both survived the Holocaust and moved to Canada in 1952.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Briefcases (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Brown leather case; adjustable shoulder strap with iron-alloy buckle; fold-over flap which is sealed by a single leather strap and iron alloy buckle; accordion-style pouch to expand for full load; extra pocket on front beneath the overflap.
    overall: Height: 11.000 inches (27.94 cm) | Width: 8.500 inches (21.59 cm) | Depth: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm)
    overall : leather, iron alloy, cotton, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Administrative Notes

    The satchel was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1996 by Sara Ginaite-Rubinson.
    Record last modified:
    2022-09-07 08:59:21
    This page:

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