A Short and Sad Letter from Vala

Translations from the stack of post war correspondence

This weeks letter is a short and sad letter from Vala to my grandfather. Things aren’t going well for Vala and she is unfortunately, being left all alone — we do not know who she is with or where she is. Vala needs medicine and is asking my grandfather for help. The sad part is that my grandfather tried to send ‘care packages’ but they would never arrive. I remember my father telling me that my grandfather would send packages but speculation was that the Russian army took them, it really is unknown at this point.

I hope that when we go to Belarus next week more of this story will be uncovered. We have spoken with Janna and Raya, the daughters of Vala and they have letters from my grandfather. I look forward to translating the letters they have and listening and learning more from them.

Language: Russian
Date: March 25, 1958
Sender: Vala (the sister of my grandfather)
Translation

Hello Dear brother,

I received your letter, highly appreciated that you don’t forget about us. Our Marusya (Maria) got married, has a son already 5 years old and his name is Gregory. When Genadiy left to the city he wasn’t married. Write how are you, I have not married yet. My health is good however my life is bad because I don’t have relatives who think about me but they think only about themselves. Dear brother if you have the possibility to help me with something, in this life maybe I will be useful to you. Many people received parcels from Canada you can send me medicines if it is possible. In this letter I am sending you two photos. In the future I will send more. I am sending you big hello to all your family, Ivan, Anna, Michael.

Goodbye dear relatives

With hello your native sister,

25 March 1958


I will continue to document this journey by writing about it here and eventually, producing a short film. My father Michael Pronko, brother Dimitri, and friend Ilie, will be going to Belarus at the end of June to meet for the first time, our long lost family.

Until the next post, thank you for reading.