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March 12, 2007 22:58
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A mother seeks closure, desperately Sir, - Do you know anyone in this photo? The woman in the middle of the last row, without the baby, is my mother, Rachel. We are desperately looking for our sister, and my mother for her daughter. Rachel, born in 1923, and originally from Sighet in Romania, is now 83. She is a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen. After her rescue in 1945 she returned to Romania disoriented and likely suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. In winter 1947, aged 24, she came to Palestine/Israel. Upon her arrival her family found out she was pregnant. Little is known about the father; he remained in Romania. In early 1948 Rachel's sister sent her to the family pictured above, apparently in Netanya. (One of those boys may today be a judge in Haifa.) In June 1948 my mother gave birth to a healthy girl. A few days after the delivery my mother was picked up by the family in the photo and stayed with them for three days. She was told to sign some documents - probably about adoption - and then sent immediately to the army, which was fighting Israel's War of Independence. We cannot find any documentation of the birth; the baby was likely registered under a different name. That Rachel was not married to the baby's father was probably the reason for the adoption; also because my mother's family did not think her capable of caring for a child. Since 1947 my mother has been desperately seeking her firstborn daughter. In 1949 she met my father, Fredi, in Israel and married him. In 1950 my brother was born in Haifa. In 1953 my parents emigrated to Germany, where my father came from. I was born in 1955. My father died in 1999 - and after living in Germany for nearly 50 years, my mother returned to Israel and now lives in Ramat Gan. Hardly a day has gone by that she has not thought about her first child. She talks continuously about finding her daughter, and desperately wants closure before she dies (www.pleasefindmydaughter.com). Can anyone help? Please contact gabi@hahnenbach.de AMOS GRUNEBAUM New York

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