The “Whosoever Saves a Single Life, Saves an Entire Universe” guest exhibition narrates the tale of the many Lithuanian citizens who -at the risk of endangering their own lives- saved many Jews during the Second World War. Jews received help from farmers, teachers, priests, doctors, ordinary families… people of different ages and origin. They all had one thing in common, selflessness. They refused to be passive witnesses and were determined to oppose the violence inflicted by the Nazis.
In 1967 these heroic Lithuanians were mentioned for the first time in a book entitled ‘Unarmed Fighters’ by Sofija Binkienė, who herself saved Jewish people. So far (2021), 921 Lithuanian citizens have been recognised as ‘Righteous Among the Nations’.
Their names are engraved on the walls of the ‘Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations’ at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem. After the war, many Jews shared their experiences of their saviours with the Yad Vashem Institute and the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History in Lithuania, which has collated these narratives and incorporated them into the ‘Whosoever Saves a Single Life, Saves an Entire Universe’ travelling exhibition.
The guest exhibition displays photographs and stories of Lithuanian citizens and the Jews they saved. The exhibition is dedicated to the many saviours of Lithuanian Jews.