Rescuers of Jews

The Pit of Life and Torment

Saulius Kuklianskis, the pharmacist from Veisiejai, his wife Zinaida, the physician, with their three children Moshe, Anna and Samuel lived in Alytus on the eve of the war.

Just after the Nazi Germany occupied Lithuania, the family lost Zinaida Kukliansky, still young, careful, loving and beloved mother of three. The Veisiejai pharmacist and his three children managed to survive.
The dramatic way of this family survival – the escape from the occupied Lithuania, a year and a half spent in Grodno Ghetto, the escape from the Grodno Ghetto and return to Lithuania – was full of constant danger and fighting for the life.
Saulius Kukliansky and his children Moshe, Ana and Samuel after return to Lithuania on February 1943, hid in the forests near Druskininkai during a year and a half. They received help from the people – inhabitants of four villages: Sventijanskas, Vainiūnai, Macevičiai and Bugieda.
All the Veisiejai Jews with many Kukliansky’s relatives among them were killed on the 3-d of November 1941 in Katkiškės.
The mentioned events happened 70 years ago. Still, Moshe Kukliansky remembers every aspect of these events. In his own words: the evil toward us, our misery, the unfounded hatred surrounding us, the death lurking and viscerally felt in each moment of these long three years, as well as the kindness, strive to help, friendliness, the spiritual warmth that was giving us hope and strength, the aid and finally, the survival.
Moshe Kukliansky, living in Israel, today is the sole witness of these events. His memoirs were used in the movie.
The movie was shot in the places mentioned: in Grodno, in the beautiful Dzūkija. The large number of Moshe’s, Anna’s and Samuel’s Kukliansky children and grandchildren participated in this work together with the rescuers’ descendants.

The documentary created by:
Lilija Kopač – director and the scenario author
Danutė Selčinskaja – project manager, the scenario co-author

Algis Liutkevičius – the operator
edited by Anatolijus Tetiušinas
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