Lieutenant Alexander SHAW)
Lieutenant Alexandre SCHWATSCHKO
(served as Lieutenant Alexander SHAW)
Alexandre Schwatschko was born 19 July 1919 in Cluj, in Transylvania (previously an ethnic Romanian region of Hungary, now in modern-day Romania) to a Hungarian mother, Yolan (née Ratz) and a Russian father, Jean. His father had been taken prisoner by the Hungarians in the First World War, but had been released in order to fight with the White Russian Army in his country’s bitter civil war. When the communists triumphed, Jean Schwatschko chose not to return home, despite being heir to extensive property holdings in Ukraine, and instead settled in Transylvania.
Schwatschko never saw Russia and indeed never considered himself Russian, but took his Russian nationality from his father. His mother died when he was young and from 1922 Schwatschko lived with his father and sister, also Yolan, in France to where his father had already gone to work. He went to school in Metz and in Chalons-sur-Marne where he attended engineering college and received his professional diploma in 1939. He was fluent in both Hungarian and French (though his written French was to prove less than perfect) and also spoke Russian, German and Spanish.
When war broke out and the Germans invaded, Schwatschko developed a burning hatred of the invaders of his adopted homeland, joining the French Air Force and training as a pilot at Ystres....[Remainder of case study is complete - contact author for further details].
Copyright © Paul McCue 2014.