rescuers of jews

Memories of Rachel Rozencveig-Levin

Dear Father! Please, let me call you that, because it was you who behaved as my father. Did you not shelter me when I was so unhappy and came to You after many trials? You did not demand anything from me and did not ask any questions. Everything was natural to you. You only told me to stay with You, compose and stay for a while...

From the letter to Bronius Paukštys
Krizantas Juknevičius. “The History of Lithuanian Salesians”. Kaunas, 2000

With the liquidation of the Ghetto Kaunas when the rest of the Jews were deported to the terrible camps in Germany, I escaped from the transport and looked for shelter. I had an address in the town of a Lithuanian family advised by a common friend, but they refused to give me shelter even for a few days. I decided to try to reach priest Paukštys. I went to the Town Hall Square. It was very dangerous to walk in the streets. When I reached the office of the Holy Trinity parsonage and saw his shape thought the glass of the door, I knew that I was saved. Priest Bronius welcomed and comforted me, and said: “My daughter, pry to God that you are here.” Then we both ascended the tower of the church and we saw the Ghetto on flames... When I met priest Paukštys in 1945, I offered him to go to Palestine with me. He was glad, but he did not accept my offer... I will remember him all my life with love and marvel. I believe that there is hope even in the darkest hours of life.

Excerpt from the speech given in commemoration of priest Bronius Paukštys.
Tel Aviv, 5 April 1982
Krizantas Juknevičius. “The History of Lithuanian Salesians”. Kaunas, 2000