Rescued Jewish Children

Jevgenij Dubrovin

Jevgenij Dubrovin's Testimony of His Rescuers Marija Pashkevich And Her Daughter Elzhbeta Tomashevska

Our family consisted of: the father Josifas Naumovičius Dubrovinas, physician-radiologist of the military service, mother Mira Gedaljevna (Margarita Grigorjevna) Dubrovina – pediatrician, me – Jevgenijus born in 1935 and my sister Irina , born in 1940. We lived in Vilnius, Žygimantų street, 20. Just before the war my mother’s sister Tavita Gedaljevna (Tamara Danilovna) Abramovich with her sons Mark (Maxim) born 1929 and Jury born 1936 came from Russia to visit us.
On June 22, 1941, the war started and we tried to evacuate somewhere, except my father who then remained working in the hospital and in 1942 he perished on the battlefield.
On the first day of the war father put us (both families) on the train and we started to Minsk. But instead of going to Minsk, the train took the way to Lyda and while approaching Varanavas Germans stopped the train. They drove away everybody from the train and we found ourselves in the forest. Mother decided to go back to Vilnius and rented a carriage but reaching Saltininkai it broke and we were left on the road. Mother destroyed all the documents and photos that we had. On some pictures there was my father with military jacket and on the others – our large Jewish family.
We were sitting on the road edge and saw a woman passing by. She started chatting with my mother, asked her where are we from, where do we go. Mother told her that we are Jewish and running away from the Germans. Then the woman warned us that in Vilnius there are persecutions and captures of Jews and we shouldn’t go back there.
The woman led us to the forest and said not to move from the place, later on, in the darkness she would come and take us to her house. And really, in the evening she came together with her teenage daughter. They were our rescuers Marija Pashkevich and Elzhbeta. They brought us to their home. Because of the night time, nobody noticed us.
Pashkevich has settled us in a secret room having two doors. In the case of danger the doors would be fenced with wardrobes.
Once SS soldiers with Lithuanian shooters entered the village. Housewife Marija managed to get us out from the house and to hide in the basement in the yard. We spent there several days. At night Marija’s daughter used to bring us food. When the soldiers left the village we went back to the secret room again. We’ve hid like this for three years.
Marija and her daughter believed God and hid us with no compensation risking the lives of the entire family.
In July 1944 the soviet army entered Vilnius. Then mother came back there and found a job. But me with my sister Irina lived at Marija Pashkevich half a year more. Her family took care of us like we were their own children. From these times we held warm relationships with Pashkevich family, and after Marija’s and Elzhbeta’s death – with their children and grandchildren.

Vilnius, 2004-08-24

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