Rescued Jewish Children

Sidija-Liuba SHVARC (1887–1942)

In the autumn of 1941, around September 25, Saulius Kuklianskis and his children – Moshe, Ana and Samuelis – with the help of the residents of Lithuanian-Polish border village Świętojańsk – Kazys Žukauskas and Konstantin Matiukevich – reached Grodno, where the Jews were still living free in their homes. However, the members of the Kuklianskis family had to hide as only local residents or those caught by the war while in Grodno were allowed stay in the town.

From the memoirs of Moshe Kuklianskis:

<...> In Grodno, we met another angel. Sidija-Liuba Shvarc was a former neighbour of our father in Veisiejai, a pharmacist by profession and the owner of a big Grodno pharmacy. She was very friendly and very kind. She hosted us at her home, gave us food, clothes, sheets and – most importantly – documents. To our great delight, I met Nokhimkė there – my childhood friend from Veisiejai – who was deemed dead or murdered on the very first day of war. We did forced labour with Nokhimkė, including fencing the camps for the captives, and camps already containing captives, dying on a mass scale of hunger and insanitary conditions. We used to give them food and return home hungry, tired from work and especially from the things we saw and experienced.
We stayed at the home of Sidija-Liuba Shvarc for about a month, until with her help we got a room and started repairing it on our own. We would have finished the repairs and turned the room into a place to live in, but all our work turned out to be in vain. 1 November 1941, we were all relocated to the newly established Grodno Ghetto in one day. <...>


Sidija-Liuba Shvarc risked her life and the lives of her family members, and hid the foreign fugitives – Veisiejai pharmacist Saulius Kuklianskis and his three children – in her apartment for over a month, giving them food, clothes and arranging legal documents granting a right to reside in Grodno. Sidija-Liuba Shvarc was killed during one of the roundups in the Grodno Ghetto.
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