Matilda Olkinaitė could have become a star of Lithuanian poetry. However, her life lasted only 19 years and fade away in 1941 in Turdvaris forest 2 km to Kavoliškis. Two Jewish families – Olkinai and Jofiai – were shot here while being led from Panemunėlis to Rokiškis.

Olkins had four children: Ilja (b. 1919), Matilda (Maslė, b. 1922), Mika (Mindelis, b. 1925), and Grunia (b. 1930). Matilda, a nineteen-year-old daughter of Olkinai  was studying Russian and French literature at Vilnius University at that time. After the Soviet deportations to Siberia began in 1941, and a couple of weeks after the Nazis occupied Lithuania, she returned to her parents in Panemunėlis. As soon as she returned, all the Jewish families of Panemunėlis were arrested and locked up at the train station. Olkinai and Jofiai  families were killed earlier than the remaining Jews of Panemunėlis, who were shot at a mass execution place in Rokiškis on August 15-16, 1941.

In Rokiškis district, Matilda was famous as a talented poet – her first poems were published when she was only 13 years old.  During the breaks between the lessons, she walked down the corridors in a brown study.  Sometimes she just stopped and look out the window.  Then the friends said, “Oh, quiet, Matilda is writing a poem.”. She graduated from Panemunėlis Primary School.  Matilda attended Kupiškis Gymnasium, and for the last two years dhe studied at Rokiškis J. Tumas-Vaižgantas Gymnasium. Then she entered Vytautas Magnus University.

Literature researcher Ilona Murauskaitė pointed out that Matilda’s poems resemble the poetry of her contemporaries Salomėja Nėris, Bernardas Brazdžionis and Jonas Aleksandriškis (Jonas Aistis).

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