Vasyl Mykhailovsky

Date of birth 19 November 1937
Date of arrest 29 September 1941
Place of rescue Babyn Yar
Date of rescue 30 September 1941
Location of the stumbling stone Kostolna St. 9
Stumbling stone installation date 4 October 2021

Life story

Vasyl Mykhailovsky (name at birth Caesar Petrovich Katz) was born in Kyiv on 19 November, 1937 in the family of Petro Katz (1902-1941), a director of a cafe on Khreshchatyk and Tsypa Zilberstein (?-1937 (?1938). 

Before the war, he lived in a communal apartment together with his father and brother Pavlo, at 9 Kostyolna Street. He was raised by nanny Anastasiia Fomina (Righteous Among the Nations). Vasyl and his nanny didn’t manage to evacuate from Kyiv. His brother and other relatives were evacuated to Central Asia, and after the war they settled in Moscow.

On 29 September, 1941, Vasyl Mykhailovsky and Anastasia Fomina joined a column of Jews marching to Babyn Yar. It was a miracle, that they escaped death.  They had been hiding in the ruins of Kyiv for two weeks. Anastasia Fomina brought Vasyl to Predslavinska Street, there was a shelter (orphanage № 2) for homeless children. It was in the building of the former children’s hospital. She left him with a note with the fictitious name “Vasya Fomin” on it. The director of the shelter was a pediatrician Nina Gudkova (Righteous Among the Nations), together with other workers she hid Vasyl and several other Jewish children during inspections conducted by the Germans during the occupation of Kyiv (Vasyl Mykhailovsky had been living in the shelter from 1941 to 1945); (According to Nina Gudkova’s son, the shelter was located at 19 Predslavinska Street).

In 1945, Vasyl was adopted by the Mykhailovsky family of doctors – Vasyl Ivanovych (Righteous Among the Nations) and Berta Savelivna.

In 1957, Vasyl Mykhailovsky graduated from O.S. Pushkin school № 153 with a silver medal, from 1957 to 1962 he studied at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Technology of the Kyiv Civil Engineering Institute. He worked on the construction of Kremenchug and Kyiv Hydroelectric Stations, designed gas and oil pipelines (including the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod gas pipeline), in the 1990s he headed the design and engineering bureau at the Research Institute of Construction Production of the State Construction Committee of Ukraine (until 1998). He was one of the founders of the organization “Zikaron Shoa” (“Memory of the Catastrophe”) and the All-Ukrainian Association of Holocaust Victims.

In recent years, Vasyl Mykhailovsky has been the deputy chairman and executive secretary of the Association of Jews-Former Ghetto Prisoners and Nazi Concentration Camps. On August 21, 2020 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the II degree, unfortunately he could not receive the award, the order was awarded to his daughter – Olha Vasylivna Fesun.


He died on September 8, 2020 after a long-term illness.

Links and documents: