The Bogdanowicz Family

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Story of Rescue - The Bogdanowicz Family

The Bogdanowicz family lived in the village Lipluny (present name: Lipliunai) near Kedainiai in Lithuania. Franciszek and Izabella with their son Czesław and daughter Maria ran a farm. In summer 1941, they took Ben Zion (Benedykt, called Benzl) Berger (Birgera), who lived in a village near Keidanai before the war, to their house.

Berger belonged to one of the three known Jews who managed to escape from death in Keidanai. After the German troops had entered Keidanai, several hundred Jews were shot in nearby forests in June and July 1941. Those who remained, together with Jewish inhabitants of nearby villages, were gathered in one street in the town. That ghetto was liquidated as early as in mid-August, whilst the Jews were moved to a separate building. At that time, Berger managed to hide and escape. All other Jews were murdered on 28th August 1941 and buried in a in a pit which had been prepared in advance. 

Berger came to the Bogdanowiczs who took care of him and his wife Stase gratuitously. They were hidden in a shelter in the room, where food was provided to them and waste was taken away. In the evening, when they used to leave the shelter to take a breath of fresh air, Czesław was on guard.

The Bergers remained with the Bogdanowiczs until the liberation in the summer 1944 and then they returned to Keidanai, where Benedykt died in 1993. In her testimonial written in 1994, his wife underlined that "Since the liberation, I have had family-like relations with the Bogdanowicz family."

After the war, the Bogdanowiczs were repressed by their neighbours and the NKVD. The parents with a son repatriated to Poland, whilst their daughter remained in Lithuania. On 23rd August 1998, the Yad Vashem Institute awarded Franciszek, Izabella and Czesław Bogdanowicz the titles of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 2198