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KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted: Sep 29, 2006 -
יום שישי, ז' בתשרי, תשס"ז

 
 
 
   
 

Yizkor! Remember!
Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author

The link to the story was e-mailed to me many times over so I read it again and again. It’s an incredible story that brought tears to my eyes. Siblings reunited 65 years after being separated during the Holocaust. Everyone likes a nice story with such a beautiful ending. Yet, though the story has a happy ending, its background and its lesson are far from happy.

The saga began in Europe 65 years ago when Hilda Shlick thought she lost nearly all her family to the horrors of the Holocaust.

Hilda, then 10, escaped to Uzbekistan with her older sister Bertha. The rest of the family stayed in Romania, finding asylum in a cellar. The Glasberg’s emigrated to Canada after the war ended. Shlick and her sister moved to Estonia, where Bertha died in 1970.

In 1998, Shlick immigrated to Israel. During a family conversation this summer, her grandsons learned her maiden name was Glasberg, and they began to investigate her past.

Shlick’s internet-savvy grandsons, Benny and David, both in their 20s, began putting together the pieces of a mystery that extended more than 60 years and traversed three continents.

They scanned the Yad Vashem database of victims of the Holocaust. There they found a page of testimony submitted by her brother Karol, of Montreal, who wrote about his sister Hilda, who “perished in the Shoah.” Karol died the year he submitted the information, but through further searches Shlick’s grandsons were able to track down his son, who filled them in with what happened to the family after the war.

That entry also helped them locate her 81-year-old brother in Canada. When Shlick found out that other family members survived the Holocaust she couldn’t believe it - and neither could they. The last time they saw each other was in 1941, when the family was separated after the Nazis invaded.

The internet search led Hilda Shlick and her family to other surviving relatives, which eventually brought about an emotional family reunion. Shlick’s parents died in the 1980's, living well into their 90s, as did her brother Eddie, who died in 2004. Shlick said she plans to travel to Canada soon to see her other relatives and visit the graves of the parents she lost as a child. Glasberg, though thrilled to find his sister, said the reunion was bittersweet because of all the years the family was divided.

“My poor parents, they always said, ‘We wish we would find all our kids”’ he said. “It is such a tragedy, but now I am so happy.”

Since the reunion, the family connection has been reestablished, with the two elderly siblings playfully communicating in a hearty mixture of Russian and Yiddish. Their large families are enthralled by the reunion of the siblings and have quickly become close.

Hilda Shlick’s parents died a mere twenty years ago still crying for the children that they thought they lost in the fires of the European war. For every family member that did find each other after the Holocaust was over, there were millions that didn’t. I’ve heard people say that the Holocaust is history and we should “just let go.”

The Glasberg-Schlick story is an enduring remembrance of the millions that were gassed and shot and starved to death who would still be living today - and have families and descendants and generations to enjoy. This story has a happy ending, but it should serve as a reminder to us. The victims of the Holocaust - both living and dead - still cry out to us, “Yizkor! Remember!” for the tragedy still lives on.


Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht 

Rabbi Hecht's Website:  www.sheahecht.com  

 

 
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