Delco DA Writes About His Ukrainian Roots and a People Yearning for Freedom and Justice

People with signs supporting Ukraine.
Image via The Philadelphia Citizen.

His grandparents spoke a language he didn’t understand, coming from a place called “The Ukraine,” at a time when it was still a part of the Soviet Union, writes Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer in a guest commentary for The Philadelphia Citizen.

His grandparents were Ilia and Alexandra Solominow. They were born in Kharkiv Oblast just before World War I.

The couple emigrated to Chester, PA in 1951 with Stollsteimer’s mother and her brother.

Before then, they had known nothing but war, revolution, famine, forced labor, and death—“unspeakable horrors imposed upon them by despots named Lenin, Stalin and Hitler,” Stollsteimer wrote.

They were slave laborers in Germany during World War II until American GIs liberated their camp.

His grandmother described those GIs as “the first men in uniform she ever met who were kind”.

She decided she wanted to live in a country that could produce such noblemen, Stollsteimer wrote.

“I think a lot about my fellow Ukrainian Americans these days, as well as our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, bravely showing the world what a free people will do in the face of tyranny.”

Read more of District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer’s guest column about his ties to Ukraine at The Philadelphia Citizen.

This segment on Morning Joe looks at why historically Ukraine can stand up to invasion.

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