Approximately over 6 million Jews were mercilessly killed during the Holocaust, tearing apart families and leaving people with nobody in the world. Survivors attempted to make a new life and find their loved ones, but the reality was not many had a happy ending. But some did, and Eliahu Pietruszka waited 78 years for his happy ending.
At the start of World War 2, when he was just 24-years-old, Eliahu fled Poland in the hopes of finding safety. Devastatingly, he and his family were separated and they were sent to ‘work camps’. Eliahu never saw his parents or his twin brothers, Volf and Zelig, again.
Eliahu went on to make a new life for himself, going on to marry and move to Israel in 1949. At the age of 102, he now lives in a retirement home.
Eliahu assumed that all of his family were dead, which was true… but only of his parents and his brother, Zelig. Volf escaped from a Siberian work camp and went on to find safety and have a family of his own. It was this family that, 78 years later, managed to track down Eliahu.
After seeing Eliahu’s 100th birthday video on Youtube, Hagit Weinstein Mikanovsky made the connection. She had been using the ‘Yad Vashem’s Shoah Victims’ Names Recovery’ database to trace her ancestry, and recognised Eliahu’s name from her family tree. She realised she must be related to Eliahu.
Sending an email to Shakhar Smorodinsky, Volf’s grandson, informing him of what she had found, the wheels set in motion for a family reunion like no other. Putting the pieces together, they contacted Volf’s son, 66-year-old Alexandre, who was eager to meet his uncle for the first time.
Sadly, Volf had passed away in 2011 at the age of 88, having been a construction worker in Russia. But a part of him still lived on in his son, Alexandre, and so he travelled to Eliahu’s retirement home in Israel for a very special reunion that nobody ever thought would happen.
It makes me so happy that at least one remnant remains from my brother, and that is his son. After so many years I have been granted the privilege to meet him.
You may need to have a box of tissues nearby as you watch this emotional video. What a wonderful moment for Eliahu; a moment that he never thought would happen.
If you were as touched by this miraculous story as we were, feel free to leave your comments in the section below.
This is the moment a 102-year-old Holocaust survivor meets the nephew he never knew he had. Eliahu Pietruszka had grown up thinking his whole family had been killed in a Nazi death camp.
Posted by Channel 4 News on Monday, November 20, 2017