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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus



Published: 2021-06-18


Right in the middle of the chaos and shock, as so often happens in dramas, a short, skinny man came to my father by the name of Karolis Jarmala from Aukštadvaris village near Veisiejai and, carrying out his father's last wish, offered us shelter on his farm, in gratitude for the indescribable aid my grandfather had rendered Karolis Jarmala's father in the past.
Moshe Kukliansky
Veisiejai pharmacist Saulius Kukliansky and his wife doctor Zinaida Kukliansky with their three children Moshe, Ana and Samuel fled Alytus after the war began and the bombs began to fall where they lived at that time. After much sojourning and having experienced unbelievable hatred of Jews and several dangerous encounters with white armbanders they reached their native Veisiejai. Zinaida, hoping to receive permission to live in Veisiejai, left for Alytus and fell into the clutches of the murderers who were capturing and killing Jews then. It is believed that doctor Zinaida Kukliansky was murdered on 13 August 1941 in the Vidzgiris Forest. In September 1941, the Jews of Veisiejai heard the blood-curdling news that all the Jews of the town of Leipalingis had been murdered and preparations were underway to exterminate all the Jews of Veisiejai as well. The Jews were told they would be moved on 15 September allegedly for work in Katkiškė village near Lazdijai. The night before the move Karolis Jarmala unexpectedly came to the Kukliansky's home and offered aid. Although the Kuklianskys did not know Jarmala then, they discussed it and decided that same night to leave their home and go to Jarmala’s. On 15 September 1941, all the Jews of Veisiejai, Kapčiamiestis, Rudamina and Lazdijai, including many of Kukliansky's relatives, were sent to a camp in Katkiškė and murdered on 3 November. Saulius Kukliansky and his children Moshe, Ana and Samuel struggled to survive for 34 months. People whom the family still calls angels helped the Kuklianskys to survive the ordeal.
From: Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe
Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, Vilnius, 2019
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