Re: Genealogy research leads to discovery of cousins thought to have died in the Holocaust #holocaust

Susan J. Gordon

When I began digging into my family history about 20 years ago, all I was seeking was what happened to my maternal grandfather, who died (I believed) in New York City some time in the 1960's. By that time, (I also believed) everyone in the family had stopped talking to him. Not expecting much, and not even sure if he had died in New York City, I sent $15 to the NYC Board of Health and requested his death certificate. It arrived with pertinent information, including the location (New York!), the date of his death, and the name of a woman named Eva, listed as the "informant." Who was she? No one in my family knew. After months of searching, I tracked down Eva, a Hungarian-born second cousin who had visited New York in the '60's and cared for her uncle (my grandfather) until his death. Subsequently, I found out that afterwards, she had made aliyah to Israel. So on a Sunday morning in August, 1999, I picked up the phone to call her and thanked her for caring for my grandfather until his death. Of course she was stunned, but very happy to hear from me. "There is justice in heaven, because you remember him," she said. But most startling was when she said - "Do you know you are calling me on his Yarhtzeit? It is the anniversary of his death?" (on the Hebrew calendar.) 
Four months later, I was on a plane to Tel Aviv, where I visited Eva again and again, and listened to her stories....

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