Vladimir Chernovol Ukraine
Vodyana, Ukraine… 1942 – Grigori Lantsman was a Jewish pilot in the Soviet army when his plane was shot down over Ukraine. Surviving the crash, Grigori wandered the countryside seeking shelter. The Germans had already killed his family and wiped out his regiment.
By chance, Grigori met Vladimir Chernovol, a Ukrainian teacher, who was out for a walk. Grigori told Vladimir that he was Jewish. Vladimir understood that without assistance, Grigori would surely be caught and killed. He offered to take him in.
With great difficulty, Vladimir was able to obtain Ukrainian identity papers for Grigori. But soon the Germans were forcibly taking young Ukrainian men for hard labor. Grigori 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 Grigori until the area was liberated in May 1944. Grigori then joined the Soviet army and fought until the end of the war. After the war, Vladimir and Grigori remained in contact.
Vladimir Chernovol turned 100 on September 1, 2021, and lives in Aleksandrijski, Ukraine.