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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus



Published: 2021-07-15


This angel was Kazys Žukauskas from Bugieda village. He saw us walking, recognised us and understood we were planning to cross the bridge. Since there were people in the village who could harm us, besides which the bridge was guarded by soldiers, he decided, risking his own life, to save us.
Moshe Kukliansky
Not wanting to place the family of Karolis Jarmala in mortal danger and having lost hope of finding a hiding place in Lithuania, in September 1941 Saulius Kukliansky and his three children Moshe, Ana and Samuel decided to seek shelter in the territory that formerly belonged to Poland. After travelling 5–6 days and nights along forest tracks and back roads, the Kuklianskys reached the Lithuanian- Polish border. On the River Nemunas, a young man caught up with the Kuklianskys and said he would ferry them to the other side. He took little Ana by the hand and urged everybody to hurry up. Then the young man pulled a boat out from under his house and ferried the refugees to the other side, uttered a few encouraging words and hurried back. The Kuklianskys barely had a chance to ask for his name. ‘Kaziukas’, the young man replied humbly.
When the Kuklianskys fled extermination in the Grodno Ghetto in 1943, they returned to Lithuania and hid in the forests close to Ančia, Kazys Žukauskas sewed shirts for the Kuklianskys men and a dress for Ana Kukliansky from home-made linen, as by that time all their clothes were in tatters. The Kuklianskys call this man, who seemingly appeared out of nowhere and extended them a helping hand, the angel.
From: Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe
Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, Vilnius, 2019
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