The Waszkinel Family

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Story of Rescue - The Waszkinel Family

“You’re Christian, you believe in Jesus Christ. He was Jewish. Please save my Jewish infant in the name of that Jew,” is what Sonia Weksler used as an argument which Emilia Waszkinel could not refute. “I couldn’t refuse to take you, it would have been a denial of my faith,” she revealed many years later.

In 1943, Emilia and Piotr Waszkinel were renting a room in Święciany in the Vilnus region. Piotr, a mechanic, repaired machines and cars. They made use of services provided by Jewish craftsmen, who lived inthe ghetto, co,mprised of severalcottages by the church. Among them was Jakub Weksler, a tailor. His wife Sonia gave birth to their second son in March 1943. Their two-year-old son,Samuel was kept in hiding by a Lithuanian family in a neighboring village. Emilia would meet with Sonia when she needed any dress alterations. Mrs Weksler left the one-month-old circumcised infant on the porch of Waszkinels’ house.

On Easter Sunday the Polish parents baptized the child, and only revealed the child’s true origin to Piotr’s brother,Wojciech Waszkinel.

Their landlords and neighbors did suspect something, but they were trustworthy. They were turned in by a milkmaid’s sister who brought milk for the child, and betrayed them out of sorrow, becauseher own childdied of scarlet fever, while‘the Jewish foundling’survived. Emilia Waszkinel fled with Romek to Wejszyszki, Piotr’s family village, where the Germans wouldn’t dare go in fear of guerillas.

Jakub, Sonia, and Samuel Weksler died in the Holocaust.

Piotr and Emilia raised the child. “There are no words that can describe the love of my Polish parents,” says Father Romuald Jakub Weksler-Waszkinel, who only learned about his Jewish roots, when he was 35, in the twelfth year of his priesthood.

  An article from the album Poles who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. Recalling Forgotten History, Łódź 2009