At the age of 24, Eliahu Pietruszka fled Nazi-occupied Poland and the beginning of WWII. He never saw his brothers again and assumed over time they were both killed. Now, nearly 80 years later, Pietruszka discovered that one of his brothers had lived, and had a son.
In an emotional meeting in November 2017, Pietruszka, now 102, met his 66-year-old nephew, Alexandre. The long overdue and emotional meeting was possible because of an extensive online database of Holocaust survivors and victims. Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial maintains the comprehensive online database, a powerful genealogy tool that has reunited hundreds of long-lost relatives.
The meeting was particularly bittersweet. With the advancing age of survivors, reunions like this are fading into the past.
When the elder Pietruszka hugged his nephew for the first time he said:
You are a copy of your father. I haven't slept in two nights waiting for you.
The reunion was captured on video.
And the story has touched many hearts.
That's the most remarkable thing I've seen in ages. Truly beautiful.— Sarah Bessette (@ShoulderPadsNYC) January 28, 2018
How beautiful! I have to say that 102 year old seems to be in fantastic shape! So happy he lived to meet his nephew and had the clarity of mind to really feel joy of the moment. So sweet and wonderful! 💕— Texanna52 (@Texanna52) January 29, 2018
We all hope that this kind of history never repeats itself.
We must be smart enough to learn from history and not repeat the same mistakes.— DD (@teachincrazyppl) January 28, 2018
What a thrill to see this reunion. To think people suffered this. Man’s capability for inhuman behavior was clearly demonstrated when this was done to people during that horrific period in history. Never again!— Ahfason (@Ahfason1) January 28, 2018
We need to learn— Pdawg (@PDawg888) January 28, 2018
Otherwise we're doomed to relive the past
We're still victimizing people
But now we call it "Making America Great Again"
We say "build a wall"
"Send them back"
It's the same form of hatred
Just called by a different name
H/T: Buzzfeed News, Daily Mail