Soviet agents have abducted my father and my uncle. They disappeared without a trace
Dimitri Rafalský was born on 8 October 1930 in Prague into the family of a Russian diplomat and linguist Vladimir Rafalsky, and Marie, née Ščerbačeva. Both his parent were members of the first wave of the 1920s Russian post-revolutionary emigration. Dimitrij grew up alongside his sister Irena. In May 1945, the family was fatally affected by the arrests of Russian exiles in Czechoslovakia undertaken by the agents of the SMERSH. Both his father and uncle Alexandr Ščerbačev were arrested and disappeared without a trace. The rest of the family faced years of existential problems. Only when after fifteen years, his father was proclaimed dead, could they at least receive social benefits. At around 1956, uncle Alexandr contacted the family upon his release from the Gulag. He wanted to return to Czechoslovakia and Marie Rafalská was able to get him the required permits. However, he died of a heart attack before he could move. Dimitrij Rafalský found out about his father’s fate only in 1968, after moving to Brussels. Here, he got hold of a book which included a testimony about his father’s death which took place in May 1945, just the day after his arrest, as a result of torture. After finishing high school, Dimitri became a theater actor. In 1950-51, he performed with the Ukraninian National Theatre in Prešov. Ever since mid-50s, he acted in Czech regional theaters in Benešov, Karlovy Vary, Hořovice and Příbram, and also starred in several movies. In 1968, he moved to Belgium where from a few years later he was able to get to his long-desired France. Here, he featured in over thirty movies and TV series. He lives in Paris.