* 1884 – 1948
Šiauliai district, Lithuania
About the rescuer and the rescue story
doctor – dentist
Thank you – good people
5 November 1943 November children's action was carried out in Šiauliai ghetto.
Armed to the teeth, Hitlerite’s, Vlasovians and Lithuanian bourgeois nationalists demonstrated their power by dealing with small children and sick old people.
On that day, the ghetto prisoners were sent to work earlier. In the morning, the children were woken up not by their mother's gentle hands, but by the sound of broken glass, shouts, and curses.
When the children woke up, instead of a quiet motherly smile, they saw the faces of the killers, distorted by anger, drunk...
Half-naked, crying, scared-to-death children were swallowed up by hideous covered trucks.
Empty poor houses, scattered things, a lost small shoe were the only witnesses to the incident...
Maddened mothers tore their hair out of despair and grief, their wounded hearts bled.
Among the 600 children was my five-year-old daughter Adutė.
I ran from the ghetto on a cold December night. After tearing off the yellow stars from my chest and back, I found myself in "freedom" without documents, without money, completely helpless.
Where to go? Whose door to knock on? Where do you go when the whole world has become so gloomy for you, when people don't believe anymore, when you don't know who your yesterday's friend is today?
I suddenly remembered the words of a Lithuanian schoolboy, which I heard after the children's action: "During our religion class, priest V. Byla said that Germans behave badly, persecuting and flourishing someone only because they are Jews. People can only be judged by their actions. And there are more and more noble people among the Jews. And the children are probably all good."
To him! If he doesn’t help, at least he won't betray you.
Pastor Byla hid me in the parsonage, the side of which was occupied by the Germans, while he himself went on a journey through the villages to look for a safer place. He convinced me that some of the children who had been taken away were saved and gave me hope that my Adutė was among them.
There were four of us in the village of Kužiai with pastor Kleibas. It was already after the Battle of Stalingrad, and the fascists were particularly rampant. Strikers looked for communists and Jews like hungry wolves. Fearing for our benefactor's life, we tried several times to leave his house wherever our eyes lead.
Pastor Kleiba did not let us out. "I'm not afraid. As fate would have it, we will all perish, and if you survive, I know I have done good in life."
He hid us as best he could, temporarily took us to his friends and brought us back. At night, when everything around us fell silent, he would bring us to his room and quietly turn on the radio so that we could hear about the victory of the Red Army, so that the good news would give us strength and faith to save ourselves.
From: "And unarmed soldiers", compiled by S. Binkienė, "Mintis" publishing house, Vilnius, 1967.
Rescued persons (Yad Vashem website):
Polina and Chaim Toker with daugther 1938
Polina with daugther 1938
Polina's daugther 1938
Tokers with grandkids 1979