Reuniting a Concentration Camp Family: The Epilogue

Story by Sue Anderson, SW Washington, Media Team; Saundra Beauchaine, Videographer and Editor; and Trish Osilla, Boom Microphone

When Tom’s daughter was deciding on a topic for her doctoral thesis, she thought of her father and his childhood which included his life at Auschwitz.

As part of her research, she and her father traveled to Slovakia to meet with other family members and to search through town records.

But through all the research she did – both locally and abroad – she never ran across Eva’s name or learned how her father had survived in Auschwitz…until now.

For her, their reunification “is a good thing; but not an easy thing to absorb” since 67 years have elapsed since Tom and Eva last saw each other.

In this final interview before Tom and Eva meet face-to-face, Red Cross Volunteer Caseworker Julie Burger talks with Tom’s daughter about her thesis and her response to Eva’s search for Tom.

Originally posted on June 29, 2013 by swwashingtonredcross

 

Reuniting a Concentration Camp Family: Finding Tom

Story by Sue Anderson, SW Washington, Media Team; Saundra Beauchaine, Videographer and Editor; and Trish Osilla, Boom Microphone

When Tom learned that his concentration camp sister Eva was looking for him, he was surprised and very touched. He hadn't expected to ever see or hear from her after leaving Auschwitz.

Now, Tom says, the emails he and Eva have exchanged and the personal reunion they plan for this fall, complete a circle for him.

In this interview, Red Cross Volunteer Caseworker Julie Burger talks with Tom about how it felt when he first learned Eva was looking for him, and about his plans to reunite with his concentration camp sister 67 years later.

Julie recognized Tom’s name after reading the Red Cross Restoring Family Links contact form that had Eva had completed in Europe and submitted to the Red Cross. Julie and Tom are members of the same Synagogue in Vancouver and she was the first to contact Tom to let him know about Eva’s search.

Originally posted on June 28, 2013 by swwashingtonredcross

Reuniting a Concentration Camp Family: How it all Began

Story by Sue Anderson, SW Washington, Media Team; Saundra Beauchaine, Videographer and Editor; and Trish Osilla, Boom Microphone

Eva was just a toddler of 2 when she, her sister and their Mother were taken to Auschwitz and placed in a Nazi concentration camp.

Tommy was 4 when he was separated from his parents at the same Nazi concentration camp and was left to survive on his own. Eva’s Mother cared for the young boy until the camp was liberated and his uncles came for him.

Neither Eva not Tom remembers much of those days but in the years that followed, Eva recalls her Mother talked about Tommy often.

In April of 2011, Eva started searching for her concentration camp brother. Some 18 months later, she and Tom had their first contact in 65+ years…via email. Julie Burger, a volunteer caseworker with SW Washington American Red Cross region was instrumental in the reunion and talked with both Eva and Tom for this series.

The below below is the first of three interviews that documents the special reunion of the little toddler named Tom and his concentration camp sister, Eva. In Episode 1: Eva the Inquirer, Eva tells Julie Burger about her search for Tom through the Red Cross Restoring Family Links program.

Originally posted on June 26, 2013 by swwashingtonredcross

 

Reuniting a Concentration Camp Family

Story by Sue Anderson, SW Washington, Media Team; Saundra Beauchaine, Videographer and Editor; and Trish Osilla, Boom Microphone

Most of the people I know have heard about the Holocaust concentration camps from parents and grandparents who served in WWII, from school history lessons, or from made-for-TV and theater movies.

Recently, Julie Burger who is a volunteer caseworker in our SW Washington American Red Cross region was reading through a Red Cross Restoring Family Links contact form. The form was initiated by a woman in Europe who was looking for a man she had known while in Auschwitz.  After reading the name of the man, Julie paused and said, “I know this man.” That’s when our region stepped in to help reunite Eva and Tom.

Eva had been with her sister and mother at Auschwitz during WWII. While there, Eva’s mother started caring for a young toddler named Tom who had been separated from both parents and was left to survive on his own. The little boy was separated from Eva and her family after being liberated from the camp, and never heard from her again…until now.

The video below is the introduction for a series of three interviews that documents the special reunion of the little toddler named Tom and his concentration camp sister, Eva.

Posted originially on June 25, 2013 by swwashingtonredcross