Saved from the Nazis, Rescued from Ukraine
In 1941, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, the Bogancha family saved two young Jewish girls from Nazi soldiers, giving them fake identities and hiding them in an orphanage. That act of kindness would ripple across time and, amazingly, lead to the help their descendants needed after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.Connecting those dates begins with a book. In 2009, Greg Dawson published Hiding in the Spotlight, a book about his mother, Zhanna Arshanskaya Dawson. She was a 14 year-old piano prodigy in 1941 when German soldiers rounded up her family along with the rest of the Jews in her Ukrainian town. Miraculously, Zhanna and her sister, Frina, escaped and found temporary shelter with the Boganchas. With new identities, they survived by playing concerts for German soldiers. After the war, they emigrated to the United States and started over.In 2013, Marina Orlovetsky, also from Kharkiv, Ukraine, read Greg’s book. She was so moved by the story that she tracked down and befriended Zhanna, Greg and the descendants of the Boganchas. When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2023, the Boganchas fled their home in Kharkiv. Marina, who had never met the Boganchas in person, offered to help their 18-year-old son, Alex, get to the United States and go to college. Marina turns to Zhanna’s son, Greg, offering the Dawsons the opportunity to return a kindness to the Boganchas. We also speak with Una Bilic, a deputy director with the International Rescue Committee, to discuss the process refugees go through to move to the U.S. and how we can support them.We are conducting a survey to learn more about our listeners and we want to hear from you.What do you like about the show? What would you like to hear more of? Let us know at www.tmwh.clubYou can also vote for your favorite episode of Season 3 and we’ll rebroadcast the winner with extended audio that will make it even more compelling!