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Stories of Rescue

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Vladimir Chernovol Ukraine

Vodiana, Ukraine… 1942 – Gregory Lantsman was a Jewish pilot in the Soviet army when his plane was shot down over Ukraine. Surviving the crash, Gregory wandered the countryside seeking shelter. The Germans had already killed his family and wiped out his regiment.

By chance, Gregory met Vladimir Chernovol, a Ukrainian teacher, who was out for a walk. Gregory told Vladimir that he was Jewish. Vladimir understood that without assistance, Gregory would surely be caught and killed. He offered to take him in.

With great difficulty, Vladimir was able to obtain Ukrainian identity papers for Gregory. But soon the Germans were forcibly taking young Ukrainian men for hard labor. Gregory was one of those selected. He managed to escape from the train and returned to the safety of Vladimir’s home. Though there were many close calls, Vladimir was able to hide Gregory until liberation in May 1944.

Vladimir Chernovol is in his 90s and lives in Aleksandrijski, Ukraine.