Jan and Helena Pylińscy lived in Lithuania – at the beginning they lived near to the Polish border, then they moved inland, to Ponadel village. With children (Marek, Janka, Jadwiga and Irena), they moved into their own manor house – Lidziun.

Jan was a great patriot and a man of a big heart. He wanted to help at least one Jewish family. He shared this plan with his good friend, Piczugin from Vilnius. The man introduced him to Mrs. Hejmanowa and her 15 years old daugter Elżbieta. Pyliński took them to Lidziun and registered them as Poles from Vilnius, hired to help on his farm.

Jan also hired Pole Marian Cywiński. The man was originally from Skapiszek, the city, which was about 15 km from Lidziun. Dark-haired Elżbieta immediately stole his heart – mutually. For some time to time visited them second daughter of Mrs. Hejmonowa, Jadwiga. The girl hid in Vilnius. After a year of quiet life everything was ruined.

One day women went to visit Cywińskichs’ family. In the evening to the house in Lidziun came the German officers. Someone from the neighbors guessed that Hejmanowa and her daughter are neither Poles nor Lithuanians. Officers required to specify their address. Jan said that the employees left for a few days to visit their family in Vilnius. He and his 14-year-old son Marek were trapped in one of the rooms. Helena and the other children were interrogated in the kitchen, another officer walked with a gun around the house. Helena knew German language so she began to speak to officer. Whispering she ordered an 11-year-old daughter, Jadzia to – while she would be talking with officer – jump through the window and inform Cywińskichs family about revision. Jadwiga jumped out the window, hid in the bushes, waited until one of the officers walked away, jumped on one of the horses which belonged to Pylińskich family and through the woods rode to Skopiszek village.

The girl told Cywińskich that Hejmans’ needs to run because German officers are looking for them. Then she fainted from emotion at the entrance of the house. Not finding women, German officers took with them Jan and Marek. Men were closed in a dark and cold basement in Ponadele. They were constantly asked about address, to which their employees went. After two weeks, Marek got sick. Jan began to pray loudly and to shout. Finally, one of guards said that in this situation they can go home as they have no doctor. Men returned home.

Hejmans’ did not return to Lidziun. Pylińscy soon settled in a Dobre Maisto and never thought they would ever again meet women.

In 1953 to the door of the Pylińskich’s house knocked Mrs. Hejmanowa. The woman found them through the Red Cross. After the war she settled in Israel. She asked if she could do something to thank them. Helena replied to her that the most important thing is that they managed to survive, and they want nothing in return. She only asked Mrs. Hejmanowa to not tell anyone that she was living in the estate, because the people who had any property or land, were in that time considered enemies of the people.


  1. FLV, List od Ireny Krause [córka], Olsztyn, 18.01.2014 r.
  2. FLV, List od Ireny Krause [córka], Olsztyn, 20.01.2014 r.
  3. FLV, List od Ireny Krause [córka], Olsztyn, 26.01.2014 r.
  4. FLV, Nagranie audio, sygn. Pylińscy Helena i Jan, relacja Ireny Krause [córka] z 27.08.2013 r.