Rescued Jewish Children

Jacob and David Kalamitzky

The Kalamitzky family hidden by friendly farmers

Before the war, Feliksas and Teklė Bušauskas lived in Guronys village, Aukštadvaris Subdistrict. There were eight children in the family with the son Feliksas being the oldest. The Bušauskas family knew the Jewish Kalamitzky family, whose farm was located in Sepijoniškės village three or four kilometres away from Guronys.

From Jacob and David Kalamitzky’s testimony:
In 1941, when the Germans occupied Lithuania, our family did not manage to escape to the East and stayed in the occupied Lithuania. When e roundups, arrests and massacres of the Jews started, we went into hiding at the farms of people known by our parents. Fortunately, we survived the entire three-year long occupation, albeit in constant danger and fear. During those three horrible years, we changed more than 70 hideouts in a number of villages, homesteads, forests, potato storage pits and excavated bunkers.

From Vladas Bušauskas’ testimony:
Before the war, we and our parents knew the Kalamitzky family very well. Itzhak Kalamitzky traded in livestock and socialised with my parents a lot. They were living about four kilometres away and used to pasture their sheep in our meadows. Therefore, there is no wonder that Itzhak Kalamitzky came to us for help once the Germans came and the war started.
The Bušauskas family hid eight Jews in their farmstead: Itzhak Kalamitzky, his wife Ida Kalamitzky, their sons Jacob and David, Ida Kalamitzky’s two sisters – Sheina Berkman-Shadur – and Raya Berkman-Shlom-Schiff with her preteen son Emmanuel Shlom, and Itzhak’s mother-in-law Bliuma Berkman, who died during the war. Considering the circumstances, the Jews would hide in the basement of the residential house, the attic, bathhouse or on the hay in the barn.

From Vladas Bušauskas’ testimony:
I remember it was very dangerous. The neighbours saw us hiding in the bathhouse and turned us in. However, the policeman who was appointed to search the farmstead told his host Mrs. Mališauskienė who knew our family and warned us /.../. Then father took us to Mr. Dimša in Klieriškiai village. The carriage was too small to hold us all, so father had to make two trips. At night in winter. We were all very scared, the Jewish women were crying. About a week later, the searches began. Policemen would come every other or third week and say: “We are going to find them eventually”. A bunker was dug in the forest as our home had become too dangerous for the Jews. Still they would come to us in summer and we would give them food every time. We had four or five cows and we would butcher a calf or a sheep and give it to the fugitives. I used to carry them food pretty often.

One night, Feliksas Bušauskas (the father) brought the Kalamitzky family members – Itzhak, his wife Ida, sons Jacob and David, Ida’s sister Raya and her son Emmanuel – from Guronys village to Julija and Kazimieras Dimša in Klieriškiai village.
There were seven children in the family of Julija and Kazimieras Dimša – three daughters and four sons. The farm was handled by the family members and workers hired during the seasons of major works. The family would live on the produce grown in their own land, got along with their orthodox Russian neighbours and knew many Jews from the adjacent Žiežmariai town including Itzhak Kalamitzky from Sepijoniškės village. The Dimša family had helped the Kalamitzky family with clothes and food even before they moved into their old farm house. The Jewish family stayed in the Dimša farmstead from winter until spring, when rumours started spreading about strangers in the Dimša farmstead and Kalamitzky family had to look for another hideout again.
While the Kalamitzky family was hiding in the Dimša farmstead, the Dimša children helped them a lot.

From Antanina Dimšaitė-Palčiauskienė’s testimony:
One winter night, the whole family moved into the old house and stayed there until spring. My parents would tell me to take food to them. Mother would give soup, bread and everything she had and we would carry the food. I used to walk in the morning after dawn and at night too. There was a path and a bog near the old house. It was quite easy to see that the house was inhabited as a path had shaped to the bog where the firewood could be found. People were using the path to reach the Andriūnai homestead. Itzhak heard from some people that someone was living in the Dimša farmstead. The fugitives had to escape and they disappeared in spring. It was March or April, when the snow was melting.

One of the many farmer families that have not abandoned their former neighbours was the family of Aleksas and Izabelė Šiupšinskas with their three kids – daughter Marcelė and sons Aleksas and Kostas. When it was warm, the Kalamitzky family hid in Šiupšinskas’ barn, and when the temperatures dropped, a bunker was dug near Martynas Juodis farmstead in Nemaitonys village. From this hideout a path led across shrubbery right up to the Šiupšinskas farmstead.

From Marcelė Šiupšinskaitė-Tamašauskienė’s memoirs:
The Jews would come at night and knock on a window. We used to lock the dogs before the night to keep them silent. The Jews would not eat pork, so we would give them veal or beef (my father traded in meat, so he always had some in stock). They would bring a can and we would pour some milk for them and give a few eggs. “They want to live and they want to eat,” my father would say. Sometimes, the Jews would stay and sleep in our room. I remember me and my brother carrying a pot of soup to the barn when the handle came off. We spilled a lot of soup then… Our closest neighbours – the Balčius family – lived about 500 meters from us and did not know anything. The Jews would conceal their traces when crossing the shrubbery. It was a big secret. And the danger was enormous...
I now understand that the help of my father to the Jews could have had tragic consequences for our entire family. But nobody thought about it then. Humanity was above all.

A few weeks before the liberation, the entire Kalamitzky family fearing the retreating German army moved to the Paškauskas’ potato storage pit. There, the group of 13 people successfully survived until the end of the war.
After the war, the Kalamitzky family lived in Kaunas. David and Jacob went to the 14th Jewish elementary school. Itzhak Kalamitzky worked in a flourmill and would quite often meet the farmers who had helped his family to survive. In the 1970s, the Kalamitzky family emigrated to Israel. Ida and Itzhak Kalamitzky’s children – Jacob and David – still remember the stories of their parents about the hardships of their family during the war.
In the summer of 2005, Ida Kalamitzky’s sister’s Raya Berkman-Shlom-Schiff’s son Emmanuel Shlom came from Israel to Lithuania to see Feliksas and Teklė Bušauskas’ children – Kazė Bužavienė (Bušauskaitė), Feliksas Bušauskas, Vladas Bušauskas and Albina Dakinevičienė (Bušauskaitė). Together with his saviours he visited the places where he used to hide during the war with the help of the Bušauskas family.
In 1998, Ona Paškauskienė, Vaclovas Paškauskas and Ona’s son Stanislovas Krivičius were titled the Righteous Among the Nations. In 2007, the same title was given to Feliksas and Teklė Bušauskas as well as their children Kazė, Albina and Feliksas. The saviours of Kalamitzky family were also honoured with the national Lithuanian Life Saving Crosses.

From the 4th book Hands Bringing Life and Bread
The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum
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