Rescued Jewish Children

Ruth Glikman-Bass

Ruth Glikman-Bass

I was born in Lithuania, Kaunas, in the ghetto in Vilijampole in January 1942. My mother Tirca Galperin-Bass, my father Leiba Bass and my brother Eliezer Bass, also born in Kaunas were all with me. When I was born my brother was 5 years old. I got my birth certificate in Vilijampole / Ausweis N 10313 which was kept safe by my adopted parents.
My parents were in the Ghetto together with their friends Doctor Nathan Nabrisky and Doctor Voshchim. That turned out to be lucky for me. A Lithuanian woman who felt endebted to Dr Nabrisky came to the place where my parents and the doctors worked. She secretly brought him food and asked what else she could do for him. He said ‘you can’t help me, but see this beautiful young woman? She has 2 children, a son of five and a little daughter who was recently born. Save them!’ This Lithuanian woman – Jadvyga Babarskiene told me later about that conversation with Dr. Nabrisky.
My mother having agreed to give me away alone because my brother already spoke Yiddish which would endanger them and make it difficult to shelter him. Jadvyga Babarskiene promised that she would do everything to rescue the daughter. I was very small and there was no food for me in the Ghetto. When I was about 9 months old, my mother carried me out of the Ghetto in sac on her way to work. She handed me over to Jadvyga who was waiting for her withy a pram at the appointed place.
This is how I found myself living with a Catholic Lithuanian family. Jadvyga Babarskiene dyed my hair and often hid me in the cellar. When neighbours asked who I was, she would say I was the daughter of a Russian officer who would collect me in due course. Jadvyga Babarskiene was a pharmacologist. Her husband Alfonsas Babarskis was a graduate of the commercial school in Switzerland. Both were educated, cultured people. My adopted parents had a daughter of their own called Danutė who was one year older than me.
Babarskis told me that he had seen my father several times but then everything went quiet. We hadn’t lived in Kaunas for much time. At some point Alfonsas Babarskis was issued an order to leave Kaunas within 48 hours. His parents were wealthy and famous and had a three story house in the centre of Marijampolė, Lithuania, and a summerhouse with a garden outside of town. We left Kaunas and went to live in the summerhouse. Alfonsas Babarskis was also a wealthy man and we would have lived well. However, when the Germans retreated from Lithuania, they set houses alight and our house was burnt down. Adults managed to save their children, themselves and take the basic things at hand. We were left naked, owning nothing when we went to live in the Babarskis residence in Marijampolė.
I don’t remember well first years of my life. Around 1949-50, in the early hours of the morning, there was a knock at the door. Our house was searched and my adopted mother was intimidated. They were asking for her husband. I was nearby singing a song about Stalin our ‘father and saviour’.
A few days later we learned that Babarskis was arrested and taken to Siberia. From that time onwards the awful years began. We had nothing to eat and nothing to wear. I lived with Babarskis til 1956. When I was 13 years old my Lithuanian parents agreed that I should go to live with a Jewish family - David and Anne Markovskis from Kaunas. The family had lost their daughter during the war, and they decided to take me into their family.
Eventually I graduated from the Economics Faculty of Vilnius University. I married Leon Glikman and in 1971, we emigrated to Israel with our 2 year old child and my husband’s elderly parents. Over the years I kept contact with my Lithuanian family, Danutė and Alfonsas, my sister and brother, children of my saviours.

Ruth Glikman, 31-01-2006.

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