Rescuers of Jews

Paluckienė Liudovika

Stanislovas PALUCKAS

Six years ago I was called by Stanislovas Paluckas from the Šeduva district, who with much excitement told me an unusual story about his late parents who had saved the lives of three Jews. It happened in the autumn of the first year of the war, when Stanislovas was only fifteen. There were four children in their family. Their mother, Liudovika Banaitytė-Paluckienė, and her husband were kind-hearted, sincere villagers who took very deeply to their hearts the atrocious massacre in the Liaudiškiai forest of the Jews of Šeduva. It so happened that an acquaintance of their family's, Sulamita Nolienė, escaped from the ghetto and, assisted by the local priest, hid in the church. However, she could not stay there any longer – it was too dangerous. Thus she found herself with the Paluckai in Šnikonys village. The parents demanded that the children keep their lips sealed. And they did. In the evening Sulamita would come to the kitchen and help her protector.
After some time Sulamita was overcome by depression. For hours she would lie motionless and cry. Liudovika could not understand why. All of Liudovika's questions yielded the same answer, “I don't want to live any more...” Later she admitted she was pregnant. Liudovika proposed a mad plan: “You must live and have the baby. Although I'm forty-seven, I will try to convince my neighbours that I'm expecting a fifth child.” Soon Liudovika “gave birth” to a dark-haired boy whom they baptised Petriukas. The end of the war was approaching painfully slowly; when it finally came, Sulamita and her son left the hideout. Liudovika Paluckienė, her husband, and her children bade farewell to the rescued. Later Sulamita and her boy left for Israel. From there, parcels and letters of gratitude would come to the village. Soon, however, their correspondence ended.
Having finished his story, Stanislovas Paluckas asked me to help in his attempts to find his “brother” Petriukas. I started an active search, which was fruitless for more than a year. Then suddenly I received a joyful response and Petriukas', or, to be more precise, Pinchas Nolis' address. I met him in Israel. Pinchas is an excellent architect working in the city of Natanya. He is the father of three children. He promised to visit Lithuania, Seduva, and the children of the Paluckai. On his photograph, which he asked me to give to Stanislovas, he wrote:
“Dear brother Stasys, I remember your parents very well. I know that it is hard to find people like them. I simply think that they are angels...”

From Hands Bringing Life and Bread, Volume 2,
The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum. Vilnius, 1999
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