Germany - MDA Israel Reunites Siblings After 64 Years
Germany - Lena, 85, and Victor, 73, were too choked up to speak when they first met each other after not having known of one another’s existence since the end of WWII. The meeting took place recently in Australia, where Lena has lived for years without knowing that her long-lost brother was alive.
In 1945, the chaotic situation after the war led to the separation of the two siblings, who had been living in Rostov, Ukraine. In 1965, Victor turned to the Red Cross in Russia, asking for information on his missing family but got no answer.
In 2007, Liz Soda – the daughter of Lena – turned to the Central Tracing Service of the Red Cross in Germany, asking for information on the Bogdanovich family of Rostov. She learned that although no documentation on the family was found, a man named Victor had in the past made a similar query. Liz immediately understood that this was her lost uncle, and she began to search for him – but he had moved to Moscow and could not be found.
The story of the Bogdonavich search was raised at the annual International Tracing Service (ITS) convention this year in Bad Arolsen, Germany – and listening attentively were representatives of Magen David Adom’s Tracing Service. With the help of Yolenta Michaeolova of the Red Cross in Russia, MDA’s Susan Adel and Eli Starik began working on the case, and within days they were able to locate Victor’s son living in Moscow. When they told him that his aunt and cousin were looking for his father, “He was so excited that he could barely speak,” Adel said.
Victor decided to fly to Australia to see his long-lost sister Lena, where they had an emotional reunion.
Lena’s daughter Liz said afterwards, “Our story is typical of what happened to many families of that period. We are thrilled that my mother was able, with the help of Magen David Adom, to find her brother whom she thought she would never see again.”
MDA acknowledges that its tracing service is not well known, Director Borya Kozokin says, “But we have been involved in finding lost persons for many years, with great success. Most of our work centers around those who have lost contact with family members during and after World War II.”
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