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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus



Published: 2020-07-14


Maria Fedecka and Adlena (Dala) Smilg

1 9 0 4 – 1 9 7 7
Would he be able to hug his child if his hands were smeared
with the blood of other children, Maria asked a gestapo agent…
Maria Fedecka and her husband Stanislaw were famous in pre-war Vilnius for their active fight against anti-Semitism. The home address of Maria Fedecka was known to everybody who was in need of help. Fedecka acted on her own without any support from any organisations. Her son Ziemowit said the following: ‘During the occupation my mother launched a personal war against the Gestapo…’ There was not a single night without a Jew hiding in Fedecka’s home. ‘There was a night when I shared my bed with a Jew who had been shot in the chest and a woman who had already been covered in lime during the killings in Paneriai’, Fedecka’s son remembered. Fedecka would bribe the clerks of a passport unit to receive ‘real’ forged documents for the people who were in danger. The main problem was to find funds to save Jews. Fedecka’s daughter Barbara remembers her mother taking things to the market to sell.
Volodia Zalkind, Roza Chwoles and her daughter Anna, Mrs Szabad and her daughters Amy Szabad Navaro and Irena Szabad Pruzan, doctor Szadowski and his family, lawyer Mire Brand, and Mrs. Kaczerginska extend their heartfelt gratitude to Maria Fedecka for saving their lives. In 1941 and 1943 Alexander, Emilia and Gabriel Sedlis were hiding at the Fedeckis’ too. Fedecka hid Adlena (Dala) Smilg, a daughter of a Vilnius lawyer, throughout the Nazi occupation. After the war, the famous poet Avraham Sutzkever wrote the poem ‘Maria Fedecka’ telling the rescue story of a Jewish girl called Dvoira.
Maria Fedecka and Roza Chwoles
From: Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe
Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, Vilnius, 2019


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