Paszkowscy Family

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Story of Rescue - Paszkowscy Family

”They knocked on the window”, recalls Genowefa Jankowska in an interview with the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Four escapees from the Vilno ghetto who, during the time of the ghetto’s liquidation, 23rd September 1943, reached the farm of her mother Eleonora (nee Rusak), the county of Głęboka in the Wileński Province.

Eleonora Paszkowska, a widow, with the help of her two daughters, Genowefa and Irena, hid three siblings in her barn – sisters Genia and Leja, their brother Morris together with his wife Miriam (Mira). Genia Cichanowska, Leja (Lejbowna?) Morris and Miriam Lewin (Levin) were hidden in the attic during times of crisis or even in the potato patches and then covered in straw. At night, they were brought in to the home so that they could wash. While in hiding, Miriam gave birth to a little girl.

Despite the difficult circumstances, they all survived the occupation. Irena and Genowefa helped their mother care for those in hiding. Genowefa Jankowska recalls, ”We had to carry water to them, by hand. It wasn’t from water taps, as it is today. We had to get water from the well. We had to do their laundry, because they couldn’t do it themselves. We needed to give them bread, food. We had to provide them with everything.”

Genia, Leja, Morris as well as Miriam stayed Genowefa Jankowska’s barn until the autumn of 1944, until the Russians entered the Vilno area. After the War, Genia and Leja left for the United States. Morris Levin and his wife, Miriam, went to Canada. Genowefa Jankowska remained in contact with Genia Cichanowska until the 1990’s.


  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu
  • Ceglarek Aneta, Interview with Genowefa Jankowska, 29.06.2010
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 2021