Woroniecka Labul Bronisława
* 1924 – 2017
* Recognized in 2000
Woroniecka Labul Bronisława
About the rescuer and the rescue story
In the summer of 1941, when rumors of the creation of a ghetto in neighboring Wilno and the extermination in the surrounding towns reached Šalčininkėliai, Lithuania, the three Schneider brothers, Hirsch, Gershon and Gedaliah, and their friend Shlomo Lemelman (later, Saul Leyman) decided that if the Lithuanian police also came to their town to take the Jews away, they would flee. On the eve of Rosh Hashanah 1941, when they saw Lithuanian soldiers entering the town, the four fled to the neighboring village of Žlougtai, to the home of their old acquaintances, the Woronieckis, who took them in. The Woronieckis were a family of six, the parents Józef and Maria and their four children Wiktor, Helena, Bronisława and Zofia aged 13 to 22. They were a poor farm family, kindhearted and ethical people. The father Józef had good relations with the Schneider family who were timber merchants. He remained loyal to them in their time of need and he also brought up his children in this spirit. He hid the four Jewish boys in the loft of the cowshed and he shared with them his meager pittance without hesitation. Moreover, he knew that his wards were religious and did not eat non-kosher food. Therefore, he ordered his family to give them only dairy food from the only cow they had.
The danger that menaced the four concealed boys and their rescuers was not only from the Germans but also from partisans in the vicinity who suspected Woroniecki of hiding Jews and harassed him. They took the eldest son Wiktor and tortured him in order to find out where they were hiding Jews but he did not yield. Despite the violence suffered by the Woroniecki family as a result of hiding the four Jewish boys, they never made them feel unwelcome. When the risk increased, the boys were sent to hide in the forest for periods of time, but their solid base until the liberation remained in the humble one-room home of the Woroniecki family. After the war, the Schneider brothers remained in contact with their rescuers. On one of Gedaliah's visits to the Woroniecki home to recuperate, the son Wiktor saved him from the hands of Polish partisans who sought to murder him.
Bronislawa's family says:
Bronislava had worked hard since childhood. Hard work did not break her best human qualities. Bronislava always remained sensitive, kind and caring. Life was not easy, but she managed to bring up two daughters and help raise her grandchildren. She was always very persistent and patient. She loved to be with people and was very hospitable. She loved her grandchildren and showered them with care and tenderness.
Bronislava never lived an empty life, she had a wealth of reserves, worldly wisdom and experience which she passed on to her children and grandchildren.
Rescued persons (Yad Vashem web page):
Information collected using:
Memories of the families of Sofija, Helena and Bronisława
Sofija and Bronislawa
Sisters Sofija (left) and Bronislava (centre) with a rescued girl who came to visit