An altar in a church in Lomna.
Photograph | Photograph Number: 58267
- Photo Designation
RESCUERS & RESCUED -- Poland
- Photo Credit
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Lidia Kleinman Siciarz
An altar in a church in Lomna.
- Lidia Siciarz (born Lida Kleinman) is the daughter of Mendel and Aniuta (Szwarcman) Kleinman. She was born May 16, 1930 in Krakow, but grew up in Lacko, where her father was a physician. With the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Lida's father was mobilized into the Polish army and soon was taken prisoner by the Soviets. Lida's mother then moved the family to Pinsk (in the Soviet-controlled sector of Poland) to stay with her parents. Not long afterwards, Dr. Kleiman escaped from a transport of POWs and joined his family in Pinsk. In order to avoid deportation to the Soviet interior, the family relocated to Turka nad Stryjem, where Dr. Kleinman found work in a local hospital. Immediately following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 the situation of the Jewish community deteriorated dramatically. Dr. Kleinman's father, Simcha, was beaten to death, and Kleinman himself was kept a virtual prisoner in the hospital. One day in January 1942 Anuita Kleinman got word that the Jews of Turka would be deported the very next day. In the middle of the night she sent Lida to her father in the hospital with a locked cosmetics bag. Kleinman and the other Jewish doctors were not to be deported because they were needed to vaccinate the local population against typhoid fever. The head nurse, Sister Jadwiga, hid Lida in one of the stalls of the men's bathroom that had been converted into a broom closet. She remained hidden in the hospital for several weeks until Sister Jadwiga was able to smuggle her out to the nun's apartment. Sister Jadwiga then arranged for Lida to be hidden in a Catholic orphanage in Lvov under the assumed name of Marysia Borowska. Before taking her there she taught her the Catholic prayers she would need to know to pass as a Pole. In the Lvov convent school Lida was placed under the care of Sister Blanka Piglowska. Subsequently, when suspicion arose that Lida was a Jew, Sister Blanka had her transferred to another convent school in Lomna and obtained a new set of false papers for her under the name of Maria Woloszynska. The Mother Superior of the Lomna convent was Sister Tekla Budnowska, who was then hiding several Jewish girls in her school. When the convent came under attack by Ukrainian nationalists in the fall of 1943, she quickly made arrangements to transfer the Jewish girls to Warsaw, where she established an orphanage in an abandoned building on the site of the destroyed ghetto. After the suppression of the Warsaw uprising in the fall of 1944, the orphanage was relocated to the town of Kostowiec, outside the capital. Lida survived the war and on May 5, 1945 was reunited with her father, who had been saved by a Russian Orthodox priest. It was only then that Lida gave him the locked cosmetics bag which she had kept with her, unopened, throughout her years in hiding. When they pried it open they discovered family photographs, Dr. Kleinman's medical certificate and other personal documents. Lida's mother did not survive. She was denounced to the police while traveling on false papers in Drohobycz, and the police refused to release her despite a bribe sent by Dr. Kleinman. In addition to her father, Lida's paternal grandmother, Dwora (Sztern) Kleinman, and her cousin, Szulamit Grossbard, survived the war in hiding. After the liberation the surviving family members settled in Jelenia Gora. Lida returned to school and graduated from the Wroclaw Polytechnic. She subsequently married her classmate, Leszek Siciarz and immigrated to Israel in 1957.
- Artifact Photographer
- Max Reid
- Photo Source
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumProvenance: Lidia Kleinman Siciarz
Record last modified: 2008-08-12 00:00:00
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