Thursday, April 28, 2011

Israeli cousins united by Holocaust database

Ever since she became an orphaned 12-year-old in Russia, Liora Tamir thought she was alone in the world — having lost every single member of her family either in the Nazi Holocaust or Soviet prison camps.
That changed because of a recent search of Yad Vashem's database of names of Holocaust victims. She discovered that her murdered grandparents were commemorated there by an uncle she never knew, who had moved to Israel.
 

On Thursday, she was united with his son — her cousin — at an emotional ceremony at Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
 

"My mother didn't tell me anything about the family, I thought they were all gone," said Tamir, 65, shortly after embracing 73-year-old Aryeh Shikler. "Now I have a cousin. I still can't believe it. It's surreal."
 

Tamir's daughter, Ilana, made the reunion possible. For years she scoured archives for any information about her maternal grandmother, Yona Shapira.

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