Rescuers of Jews

Juškevič Anastasija

From Michailas Juškevičius' testimony about the hiding of the lawyer Azriel Abramovich’s wife Mania, their 13 years old Mia, Mania Abramovich’s sister Liuba Gordon and their mother Feiga in his farmstead in Jungiriai village, Kelmė district

/.../ One morning, my neighbour Dzimidovienė (surname illegible) saw the women on our farm, and later white armbands came to us in a carriage hiding in hay. They jumped out of the carriage and asked where the Jews were. I told them I knew nothing. Then they fired shots at the barn and at the shed and set the building on fire. They herded the children into one of the rooms and did not let them out. The Jewish women fled from the barn, but they were caught. The hitmen lined them up at the wall of my house together with me and started preparing to shoot us.
The barn and the shed were burning, the smoke and the sparks were going in the direction of the house, and the children were screaming. There was a birch near the house – its head burnt, but the house did not catch the fire. I hit one of the ‘white armbands’ as hard as I could and ran. And while running I kept repeating: “Presvyataya Bogoroditsa, spasi” (“Holy Mother of God, save me”). /.../
Mia knew German. When a German motorbike was passing by, she dropped on her knees and begged the Germans to protect them from death. The Germans ordered to take them to Užventis, where they were helped by doctor Petras Girbudas.
My wife ran in another direction and the kids were left unharmed. Little children were left without supervision near a barn and a shed on fire.
armbands would come and ask the children where their parents were. Our elder daughter Nina was very heroic. Children would carry us food at night and would not give us away. We would spend days and nights in a forest hideout. /.../ We stayed in the forest right until the coming of the Russians.
A few years after the war, we started exchanging letters...
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