Crying 102-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Finally Meets Family Members After Thinking They All Died In 1944
Jun 15, 2019 by apost team
The 20th century witnessed some of the worst atrocities ever committed in history, with one of the most horrifying being the Holocaust. All told, six million Jews and five million others deemed enemies of the Nazis were killed in gas chambers across occupied Europe. While the statistics are enough to bring a tear to your eye, they do not fully encompass the magnitude of the human suffering created by the Holocaust.
In addition to the 11 million innocents murdered by the Third Reich, untold millions were separated from their families, unsure if they would ever see their loved ones again. Such is the story of Eliahu Pietruszka.
When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Eliahu was living in Warsaw with his parents and younger twin brothers, Volf and Zelig. At the start of the war, Eliahu, fled to the Soviet Union and soon lost contact with the rest of his family. The 24-year-old man soon learned that his family had been deported from Warsaw to the death camps.
Eliahu thought the worst until he was contacted by Volf in the middle of the war. His younger brother had escaped his incarceration and the two were in contact for several months before tragedy struck again. Volf was ordered to a Siberian labor camp by Soviet officials. Losing contact once again, Eliahu thought that Volf had died in Russian custody.
Eliahu was nevertheless determined to live his life.
The young man got married in Russia before moving to Israel in 1949 and starting his own family. Despite all the joy that came after, Eliahu never forgot the loss of his parents and twin brothers, which became a terrible wound on his heart. In recent months, fate hurled a curve ball at Eliahu. The now 102-year-old man learned that Volf had, in fact, survived the Holocaust.
Eliahu became aware of Volf’s survival from his grandson, Shakhar Smorodinsky, who had discovered it from his cousin, who was researching the family’s history. On Vad Vashem, a database chronicling the accounts of Holocaust survivors, Shakhar’s cousin had found an entry written by Volf.
It turns out that Volf had survived the Soviet labor camp and settled in the Ural Mountains after the war. Working in construction, Volf had a son named Alexandre. Unfortunately, Volf died in 2011 having never seen his brother again in this life.
Shakhar soon contacted Alexandre, who flew to Israel to meet his long-lost family. With tears in his eyes, Eliahu embraced Alexandre, who himself was unable to fight off tears. Eliahu declared Alexandre to be a direct copy of Volf and that he was glad his younger brother left the world with a son.
Watch their emotional reunion in the video below:
What do you think of Eliahu finally being reunited with his family after over 70 years? Do you know any emotional reunions from your family history? Let us know in the comments and don't forget to pass this video along to your loved ones.