Category Archive: Searches

Daughter unravels mystery her mother left behind

Sidonia Perlstein survived the Holocaust to become a talented designer and seamstress. But when Perlstein died on Mother’s Day six years ago at the age of 93, she was still a mystery to the daughter she had raised alone in western Massachusetts.  “My real mother was someone I never truly knew,” said Hanna Perlstein Marcus.  But Sidonia’s death only made Marcus more determined to understand her mother and seek out the father about whom she would never speak.  Marcus recounts what she learned in her memoir, “Sidonia’s Thread: The Secrets of a Mother and Daughter Sewing a New Thread in America.”

Holocaust survivors meet to find a face from the past

More than 500 Holocaust survivors came to the Jewish Family Service of Broward County’s annual Café Europa luncheon recently to try to meet a lost relative or friend from before the Holocaust.

As the number of Holocaust survivors gets smaller, there are fewer meetings. “Some years there were 800 people here,” said four-year-volunteer Robin Salzberg of Parkland, whose father-in-law was a Holocaust survivor. “This is a smaller group and it is getting smaller.” That’s what makes the annual Café Europa event so important, say the persons behind it.

Cecila Steiger, 86, of Pembroke Pines and Rose Naiman, 85, of Tamarac, met when Steiger told volunteers that she was looking for Naiman, who was listed in the program’s resource guide as being from the Polish town of Czestochowa. “I just put her name down because I saw that she came from the same town as my parents,” Steiger said.
“She knew my family. She knew the street,” Steiger said after talking with Naiman. Ironically, both women have homes in Monticello, New York but had never met.

Holocaust survivors, both living in South Florida, find each other after seven decades

TAMARAC, Fl — They hadn’t seen each other for seven decades — not since a brief meeting at Auschwitz — but at first, the cousins could muster only a dignified handshake and a hug. They had all but given up the search for relatives who had survived the Nazi extermination effort. To find each other was almost overwhelming.

“This is the biggest, most important day of my life,” Leon Schagrin, 85, said Sunday after meeting up with Lemel Leo Adler, 89, at a banquet for the Holocaust Survivors of South Florida. In an irony worth of a Bible story, both were living in Broward County — Schagrin in Sunrise, Adler in Hallandale. Only last week, when Adler read Schagrin’s book on his Holocaust experiences, did they know of each other.
Adler and Schagrin grew up in Poland, the sons of two sisters. During the Holocaust, they were taken first to the Tarnow ghetto, then to various labor camps, then to Buna, a chemical plant also known as Auschwitz III. They saw each other there only once for a few minutes, before being led off to various jobs.

Search Is Launched For Families Who Escaped The Holocaust Through Portugal

The Sousa Mendes Foundation is seeking to identify and locate Holocaust refugees who were given life-saving visas by Aristides de Sousa Mendes in the Spring of 1940. Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese consul stationed in Bordeaux, France, rescued an estimated 30,000 people from the Holocaust.  He did so by giving refugees visas to Portugal, in contravention of a document called “Circular 14” issued by the Portuguese government to its consular corps that contained strict orders not to do so.  As a result, he was put on trial by the Salazar dictatorship and harshly punished.

New deal on Holocaust-era archive expands access

BERLIN – Germany, the United States and nine other nations have signed an agreement that expands access to a unique Holocaust-era archive. The government in Berlin said the 11 nations overseeing the International Tracing Service formally agreed Friday to establish an “institutional partnership” with Germany’s Federal Archive. The deal allows wider distribution of the ITS’s documents to facilitate historical research and education.

Mr Chu’s daughter delighted to find her Jewish playmate

The relatives of Mr Chu, the “Shanghai Uncle” an elderly Jewish woman has been searching for years to show her gratitude for his help to her refugee family 60 years ago, have showed up today with fond childhood memories. Mr Chu, whose real name was Zhou Zhiji, died 10 years ago at the age of 88. He used to be a director of a Shanghai tobacco company and he could speak fluent English, which helped him to make friends with Jewish refugee families.

Red Cross steps back from Holocaust victims search

GENEVA — The Red Cross says it will step down from its role managing the work of a body dedicated to finding Holocaust victims.

Lost cousins unite thanks to Holocaust database

For five years during the War, Nahum Korenblum never left the side of his younger brother Yaakov as the two fled the Nazis. They were separated, never to meet again. On Thursday, their children were united thanks to a recently uploaded family photo discovered on Yad Vashem’s online database.