In 1943, Vytas Baltutis served as a Catholic priest of the community of Vištytis, Vilkaviškis County, on the border with eastern Prussia. One day he received a letter from Miriam Gail (later Rabinovich), a Jewish friend, who had been his classmate in high school, and was now interned in the Kaunas ghetto with her family. In the letter, Gail asked the priest to do his utmost to remove her family from the ghetto. Baltutis hastened to Kaunas, met with Gail, and began to plan her family’s escape. He planned to get them false papers but then, in March 1944, the large children’s Aktion in the ghetto was carried out, and Miriam, her brother Iser, and sisters, Masha and Esther, escaped the ghetto without new documents. They reached Vištytis and were warmly welcomed by Baltutis, who later arranged a hiding place for them in the home of Antanas Kupraitis, a local peasant. Kupraitis, who lived with his wife and sons, Juozas and Jonas, hid the four Jews for six months, until the liberation of the area from Nazi occupation, in October 1944. After the war was over, Baltutis left the priesthood, married and moved to Canada; Iser, Masha (later Jaron) and Esther (later Spektor) immigrated to Israel and Miriam - to the United States. For many years after the war, the survivors kept in touch with Baltutis and the sons of Kupraitis and helped them financially as much as they could.
On November 17, 1980, Yad Vashem recognized Vytas Baltutis, Antanas Kupraitis, Juozas Kupraitis, and Jonas Kupraitis, as Righteous Among the Nations
Rescuer Vytas Baltutis
A small town in Southern Lithuania
Where the Jewish Community is no more
Righteous Gentiles of Vilkaviskis