Elderly Holocaust survivors reunited via internet

By Jeremy Last

Directorate

JERUSALEM (EJP)— A brother and sister from Romania who were separated in the Holocaust and thought each other dead were reunited after 65 years.

Hilda Shlick, who now lives in Ashdod, Israel, always believed that her entire family, except for one sister, was killed in the Holocaust.

Earlier this year, her grandchildren conducted a search on Yad Vashem’s online Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names for information on their grandmother, and were surprised to find a Page of Testimony filled out in Hilda’s memory by someone who wrote that he was her brother. They were then able to track down their grandmother’s two brothers who still live in Canada.

One, Simon Glasberg flew to Israel to meet his sister last month.

Chance finding

The story began when, during the course of a family discussion several months ago, Hilda’s grandchildren, Benny and David Shlick, learned that their grandmother’s maiden name was Glasberg. In light of the new information, they conducted a search online on the Central Database of Shoah Victims Names’ (www.yadvashem.org), in order to find out more about their grandmother’s family.

They learned that Karol Weiner was the person who submitted the Page of Testimony in 1999, where he stated that Hilda was his sister who had perished. They also found out that the name of their grandmother’s mother was Henia Weiner.

David began to conduct additional, more extensive searches. Through the Website of the Montreal Burial Society and online forums of survivors of Chernowitz, he was able to track down Karol Weiner’s son, Dr. Eric Weiner. Karol died in 1999, (the same year that he submitted the Page of Testimony).

As a result of subsequent correspondence between David Shlick and Dr. Eric Weiner the entire picture became clear: Hilda Shlick’s (nee Glasberg) immediate family, including her parents and siblings, that remained in Romania survived the Holocaust.

Emotional reunion

The long lost brother, Simon Glasberg, of Ottawa, Canada traveled to Israel in September to reunite with his sister and they spent Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New year, together. Their brother Mark lives in Montreal, but was too ill to travel to Israel.

Glasberg said he was without words when he saw his sister for the first time since 1941.

“I felt I couldn’t talk. I just cried,” he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “You don’t understand, 65 years.â€?

Shlick also said she was overwhelmed. “For 65 years, I lived thinking I had no family besides one sister,” she said.

The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names contains some three million names of Holocaust victims, two million of the names come from Pages of Testimony, and the remainder are from archival lists.

Available at www.yadvashem.org, over 10 million people have visited the website since the Database went online in November 2004.

Polish righteous Gentile woman recommended for Nobel Prize

By Amiram Barkat

Holocaust survivor groups here have joined the recommendation of the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, to award the Nobel Peace Prize to 96-year-old Irena Sandlar.

Sandler, who was a member of the Polish underground group Zegota that was dedicated to saving Jews, was recognized by the Yad Vashem Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority in 1965 for smuggling numerous Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The children received false papers and were either adopted by Christian families or sent to convents. Sandler, however, recorded the real names of 2,500 children on lists that were placed in glass jars and buried, with the hope that the youngsters would eventually be returned to their families. The Gestapo arrested Sandler in October 1943. Despite being tortured, she refused to reveal the children’s identity, and was sentenced to death by a Nazi court. The underground group freed her, and she lived in hiding under an assumed identity until the end of the war.

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If Sandler, who still lives in Poland, is chosen for the Nobel award, it would be the first time the honor would be bestowed to a righteous Gentile.

“Giving the Nobel prize to a Righteous Gentile is a fitting response to those who still dare to deny the Holocaust,” the chairman of the umbrella organization of Holocaust survivors in Israel, Noah Poleg, said. Poleg added that if Sandler receives the prize, it would be the first time it has been awarded in conjunction with the Holocaust.

The chair of the Association of Cracovians in Israel, Lili Haber, wrote to Kaczynski that Sandler had never publicized her actions, but rather shied away from publicity. She used her wisdom and goodness to save lives and then educate others to understand the difficulties encountered by the survivors.

Joining the campaign on behalf of Sandler are the Israel-Poland Friendship Association and the Lublin and Polish survivors’ organizations.