Romuald Szymanski and Jadwiga Szymanska
All information below comes from
The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations
Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust: Poland
edited by Sara Bender and Shmuel Krakowski
Copyright © 2004 Yad Vashem
The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority,
Jerusalem, Israel
Reproduced with permission of Yad Vashem

In June 1941, after the Germans captured the town of Swieciany in the Vilna district, the Jews of the vicinity were herded into a former military training ground, where they were kept under harsh conditions, and shot a few days later by Lithuanian collaborators.   Among the few Jews who managed to escape the massacre were Rachel Swirski, a widow, and her daughters, 15-year-old Lea and eight-year-old Chana.  Swirski and her daughters tried to return to Swieciany, their hometown, where a ghetto had meanwhile been established, but their plan failed and they decided to turn to Romuald and Jadwiga Szymanski, Polish acquaintances of theirs.  The Szymanskis greeted the three refugees warmly and, despite the danger, hid them in their apartment without expecting anything in return.  On day, when Swirski told her benefactors that she wanted to join her father-in-law in Swir, some 30 kilometers away, the Szymanskis, with great resourcefulness, rented a wagon and transported each of the Swirskis separately to Swir.  Later, Swirski and her daughters were interned in the Kaunas ghetto, where Chana perished during one of the Aktionen.  Swirski and Lea, together with the remnants of Kaunas Jewry, were sent to the Stutthof concentration camp, where they were put to work in a labor camp until January 1945, when they were liberated.  After the war, they both immigrated to Israel while their saviors moved to an area within Poland's new borders.

On September 16, 1999, Yad Vashem recognized Jadwiga and Romuald Szymanski as Righteous Among the Nations.