rescuers of jews

Vaškevič Josif


Josifas Vaškevičius (Josif Vaškevič), his wife Katažina Vaškevič and their five daughters lived in Vilnius district, Riešė rural district, Gudeliai village (now Zujūnai neighborhood). They were occupied in agriculture.
After the war started, the family helped the Jews. Several Jews were hiding in the bath-house, that was close to the forest, others – hid in the vault of the outhouse.
Lėja Chazanovič, an elderly woman from the Lesniki village, was the only one of the hiding people who lived in the house constantly. She helped in the kitchen.
In November 1943 the police of Riešė district searched for the hiding Jews in the Vaškevič house and found Lėja Chazanovič. All eight people, living in this house, were told to go outside and to show their documents. Then Lėja Chazanovič was recognized. She was arrested and taken away together with the house owner.
The testimonies of this event may be found in the Case N 38477/3 kept in the Supreme Archive of Lithuania. The case contains prothocols of the Riešė district Šeškinė neighborhood superior‘s interrogation.
Josifas Vaškevičius was arrested for the first time in March 1943 but then he was released. He continued helping the innocent people perishing in mass murders. The second time was fatal. Josifas Vaškevičius was arrested and taken away from his house together with Leja Chazanovič, the former resident of Lesniki village. He never returned to his home. Josifas Vaškevičius paid the price of his life for his help to other people during the war.