Eliahu Piertruszka, a Holocaust survivor, for a very long time, thought his entire family had perished in World War II — until he met his nephew.
Eliahu Pietruszka is 102-years-old and found out only recently that his brother survived the Holocaust. Eliahu fled Poland in 1939 at the age of 24, leaving behind his parents and his twin brothers, Volf Pietruszka and Zelig Pietruszka. Both of his parents and Zelig were killed in a Nazi death camp. Eliahu knew Volf had escaped persecution in Poland but thought he had died at a Siberian work camp.
But it turns out Volf had survived and worked for years as a construction worker in an industrial Russian city. In 2005, Volf filled out a testimony page for Eliahu, whom he thought had died, at the Yad Vashem memorial. That database was made available online in 2004.
Volf had a son, Alexandre Pietruszka, who said his father(Volf) died in 2011.
102-year-old Eliahu’s grandchildren utilizing a genealogical database at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, were able to contact Alexandre.
66-year-old Alexandre learning his late fathers brother was still alive somewhere out th there, traveled from Russia, to the Israeli retirement home where Eliahu lives.The nephew and uncle had a teary, joyful ,meeting. “You are a copy of your father,” Eliahu told Alexandre as he embraced him and placed a kiss on his cheek.
“I have waited for 70 years to see you,” Eliahu told his nephew when they met.
Alexandre called the meeting miraculous.
“I never thought this would happen,” he told his uncle.
A representative from Yad Vashem called it “unbelievable.”
“This is one of the last opportunities that we will have to witness something like this,” Debbie Berman, a representative from Yad Vashem who witnessed the reunion, told the AP. “I feel that we are kind of touching a piece of history.”