Rescuers of Jews

Balčiūnienė Anelė


Peasants Adomas and Anelė Balčiūnas had six children and all the family lived in Šiliniai village close to Jieznas town, Alytus district.
In December 1943, Fruma and Shlomo-Eliezer Wladislawowski, who had fled from the Kaunas ghetto, approached them and asked to shelter their little daughter Raja, born in the ghetto in August 1941. Motivated by their strong religious faith and despite the risk involved, the Balčiūnases took in the Jewish child, changing her name to the Lithuanian Aldutė, and kept her safe. The Wladislawowski couple went into hiding in the nearby forest, together with some other Jews. They existed on forest berries they gathered and on food they managed to get from the locals. The couple used to spend nights in Balciunas' barn rather frequently.
Shortly before the liberation four Jewish men from that group, including Shlomo-Eliezer Wladislawowski, and one woman hid in the bathhouse in Dukurnoniai village. Somebody betrayed them and called the police from Jieznas. The three men and woman were killed at once and Raya's father was arrested and tortured cruelly – the police wanted him to betray his wife and daughter. He didn't betray anybody and was killed.
After the liberation in August 1944, Fruma Wladislawowski (later Shochat) came to pick her daughter up and found her healthy and well cared for. The Balčiūnas family refused to accept any compensation for their deeds. After the war, Fruma and Raja (later Rachel Davidor) emigrated to Israel and stayed in touch with the rescuers.
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