Uncle Oleksandr

Дядько Олександр


My uncle Oleksandr was in the Red Army during WWII, and was unable to leave Ukraine with his mother and brothers in 1942, when the front turned and  the Russians began their advance into Ukraine.

My father and his brothers tried to find him after the war (through the Red Cross and other agencies), but couldn’t.  An acquaintance of his told my father’s family that Oleksandr had died during the war, and they finally assumed this to be true.  In 1989, when my mother and I travelled to Ukraine and re-established contact with my father’s relatives, we were surprised to learn that he had survived the war, and was living in Belarus.  My aunt tracked him down (using an old photos she had and vital statistics records), and my father had a chance to see his brother again in 1990. 

My father met my uncle Oleksandr, after a separation of almost 60 years, for one last time in Kyiv.  His brother gave him these photos of himself.  Sadly, my father has either forgotten or was never told the identities of the other people  in the photos. The women, children and friends in these photos remain a mystery to me.

Oleksandr died of chronic heart disease that following winter.  He had finally received permission to travel to the US and be reunited with his brothers, a trip he would, sadly, never be able to take.

Our Ukrainian Uncle

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