The Antonowicz Family

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The story of the Antonowicz family

„One could die anywhere” – says Lucyna. “Even while sitting in a café. The lorry was coming, there were shouts “Raus!, Raus!”, and they were taking people away to be shot.”

In Vilnius, where she lived with her parents, sister and brother, the executioners were the Lithuanians and Germans. She used to meet the Jews when they were led from the ghetto to work. They walked the street, not the pavement. She would bend her head down and feel ashamed of those who wanted to humiliate the Jews in this way.

She was in the ghetto only once. She had an idea to help Lena, her close schoolmate. Lucyna entered with the crowd. Suddenly the crowd disappeared. It was empty, dark and scary. The girl went around the streets, did not meet anybody and ran away. She was a child from an affluent family.

Her parents said that the twenty-year-old woman, a former clerk, was to move into the room occupied by Lucyna and her sister. Every time she would walk out on the street. Lucyna was going to be her security guard. Then she came – tall, elegant; she wore a blue, tweed suit and was beautiful. Her name was Bronisława Malberg. She spent three months at their place, then she moved to their grandma. Her mother had died in the ghetto and she mourned terribly.

After the Vilnius ghetto was liquidated, the father provided her with the documents in the name Joanna Malinowska which enabled her to work as a French teacher in the town of Niemenczyn. After the war Lucyna got to know that  the vegetable household Troskulany - bought by her father at a bargain price during the war and into which they moved - served as a refuge where the father hid two Jewish families. One of the families were Henia and Adi Kulgan.

“Righteous Among the Nations sounds nice – says Lucyna – but the war was something so terrible that, unluckily, one can never forget it.”

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 229
  • Warda Joanna Wójcik Konrad, Interview with Lucyna Bauer, 1.04.2008