102-year-old thinks family died in the Holocaust. But 70 years later, they reunited
The Holocaust was indeed a sad time in the history of mankind.
According to Shared, a centenarian Eliahu Pietruszka was convinced he had lost his entire family after the Nazis invaded Warsaw, Poland.
However, 70 years later, he learned a truth about his family that left him stunned.
He was a 24-year-old youngster living with his family when the World War II erupted. With it, the Nazis began plundering the country.
Eliahu fled to the Soviet Union, leaving behind his parents and twin brothers Volf and Zelig, who were 15 years old then.
Then the Holocaust began with millions of innocent lives being systematically snuffed out. Children were separated from their parents, elderly men and who were forced into hard labor or killed, vulnerable people experimented on and mercilessly tortured and killed.
When he learned that his family was deported from the Warsaw Getto to Nazi death camps, Eliahu believed all of them had been killed.
He heard from one of his younger brothers, Volf, a short time later. The teenager had managed to escape.
The two brothers corresponded briefly but then again tragedy struck. Volf was sent by the Russians to a Siberian work camp and Eliahu began to think that it was the end of the road for his brother.
He said, “In my heart, I thought he was no longer alive.”
Life went on for Eliahu, who now married in Russian and in 1949, he moved to Israel to start a family of his own. He would often think of his family he had left behind and would be left heartbroken over the evil committed against them.
Decades later, seven to be precise, a miracle happened.
Eliahu’s grandson, Shakhar Smorodinsky, received an email from a cousin in Canada who had been working on their family tree.
When she was looking at the Yad Vashem website she discovered something stunning. The website is a database of pages of testimony which commemorate the names of the estimated six million Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide.
She informed Shakhar that Volf had survived the Soviet work camp and had settled in Magnitogorsk, an industrial city in the Ural Mountains.
He had spent his life working in construction and had one child, a son named Alexandre.
Eliahu’s grandson reached out to Alexandre who was just as shocked to learn he still had a family. He decided to come to Israel to meet his uncle.
The meeting was an emotional one with Eliahu and Alexandre holding each other tightly as tears streamed down their faces.
“I have waited 70 years to see you. 70 years! You are a copy of your father,” Eliahu told his nephew. It was nothing short of a miracle for Alexandre.
Eliahu learned that his brother passed away in 2011 at the age of 88, and never knew his brother was alive. Eliahu was sad he never got to see his brother again but is extremely happy for Volf and his family.
Alexandre went back to his home with the knowledge that he was not alone and he did have his own family in Israel.