Holocaust Survivors Reunited, 65 Years Later
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
Also in Jerusalem, two Jewish siblings have been reunited. Hilda Shlick last saw her brother Simon Glasberg when she was six years old and he was 16. That was during World War II. Her grandchildren, searching the database of Israel's Holocaust Museum, were able to locate Simon and bring them together for the first time in 65 years.
NPR's Linda Gradstein has their story.
LINDA GRADSTEIN: Simon Glasberg, now 81, broke down several times as he sat next to his long-lost sister Hilda.
Mr. SIMON GLASBERG (Holocaust Survivor): I looked at her. I just kissed her. I couldn't stop kissing her.
Unidentified Man: Did you recognize her?
Mr. GLASBERG: Yes, yes.
GRADSTEIN: Hilda, a diminutive white-haired woman who speaks Russian and Yiddish, but only a little English, just smiled broadly as she looked at her brother.
Ms. HILDA SHLICK (Holocaust Survivor): I am very happy to see him.
GRADSTEIN: Hilda and Simon came from a family of four brothers and three sisters from Chernowitz in Romania. In 1941 after the Nazis invaded, the family was separated. Hilda escaped to Soviet central Asia with her oldest sister, who was married to an officer in the Red Army. After the war they moved to Estonia.
All her life Hilda believed that her parents and all of her other siblings had stayed in Romania and died in the Holocaust. She married and had two children, one of whom emigrated to Israel in 1991. Seven years later, Hilda followed her son here.
A few months ago her grandchildren conducted a search on the central database of Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Authority. The online database has three million names of Holocaust victims as well as testimony by survivors. There they found a one-page letter written by one of Hilda's brothers who presumed she had been killed.
Her grandchildren eventually learned that two of Hilda's brothers were still alive and living in Canada. Contact was established and Simon telephoned his sister. Hilda says she couldn't believe it.
Ms. SHLICK: (Through translator) Now I am so happy. I never thought that he would find me. And he find me and I am happy.
GRADSTEIN: Simon says he and his little sister Hilda always had a special relationship.
Mr. GLASBERG: She was a doll, a doll. I played with her ball. She threw me and I threw her and we fight with the kids, with everything. I remember she was a little one. I played with her at baseball.
GRADSTEIN: Now Simon wants Hilda to move to Canada with him. She says she'll go visit to see their other surviving brother, who is 83 and ill. But she says her home is in Israel now and she doesn't want to move again.
Linda Gradstein, NPR News, Jerusalem.
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