Boris Lozhkin
Boris Lozhkin
President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine and Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress

Celebrating famous Jews from Ukraine: Roald Hoffmann

In 2006, Roald Hoffmann, already in the status of a Nobel laureate in chemistry, came from the United States to his place of birth Zolochiv in Lviv region to look for the descendants of Mykola and Maria Dyuk. A year later, on his initiative, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Complex Yad Vashem honored the Dyuk spouses with the title of the Righteous Among the Nations, which is awarded for saving Jews during the Holocaust.

In 1943, Mykola Dyuk, a teacher from the neighboring village Univ, hid 6-year-old Roald, his mother, and two other Jews who had escaped from a labor camp in the school attic. Roald’s father, who remained in the camp, was shot by the Germans for organizing the escape.

The Jews lived a year and a half in the little school attic, and during all this time no one in Univ learned about the secret of Mykola and Maria Dyuk. During his forced hiding, little Roald often fantasized about how he and his mother would go to the United States from Univ, imagining their route in the smallest detail.

Together with his mother, he came to the United States shortly after the war, where he became not only a famous chemist, but also an equally famous poet and playwright, who wrote 114 poems and 3 plays, one of which he devoted to his main profession. The play Oxygen has been translated into 16 languages and staged in many theaters around the world.

Join me, Boris Lozhkin, on Twitter @lozhkin_boris for news and commentary on Judaism in Ukraine and around the world. Follow me on Facebook for updates on the work of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine.

Find out more about my work at

About the Author
Boris Lozhkin is a Ukrainian entrepreneur, philanthropist and author. He is President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine and Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress.
Related Topics
Related Posts