The 73 Year Old Man Found his 84 Year Old Sister

They waited for 64 years: A Jewish brother and sister who were separated at the end of the Holocaust were reunited after 44 years of searching, through the efforts of the Magen David Adom Tracing Unit.
By: Moshe Schwartz
Dec. 1, 2009 - PRLog -- Victor Bogdanovich, 73, and his sister Lena, 84, lived in the town of Rostov, in the Ukraine. When World War II ended, they were both still youngsters, and they were separated due to the difficult conditions in Russia and Eastern Europe during that period. But now, 64 years later, Victor has finally found his older sister – after 44 years of searching.

In an effort to find out what happened to his sister, Victor contacted the Red Cross Tracing Service in Russia in 1966. No trace was found of his sister Lena  or of any other family members, but Victor did not lose hope.

Lena had a daughter living in Australia, who decided in 2007 to conduct a search of her own. Liz Suda filed a request for assistance with the Red Cross in Germany, in order to try to find out the fate of the Bogdanovich family after the war. While no information about the family was available, Liz was told that a similar request had been made in the past by a man named Victor. Liz immediately understood that Victor was her long lost uncle, and began an intense search to find him. However, Victor had moved, and his new address was unknown.

At an international conference of the Red Cross tracing services in Bad-Arolsen, Germany this year, mention was made of the ongoing search for members of the Bogdanovich family. A delegation of Magen David Adom was present at the conference, including Suzan Adel, an MDA Tracing volunteer, and Borya Kozokin, MDA Tracing Officer. The MDA tracing team was asked to assist in the search, since the Bogdanovich family was Jewish.

The MDA tracing unit got to work on the case, and within several days successfully located Victor Bogdanovich's son living in Moscow. They informed the son that his aunt Lena was alive, and that she was searching for her younger brother, Victor. Susan Adel related, "He was so excited that it was difficult for him to speak. He said that he would give his father, who was also living in Moscow, the good news."

Victor had been waiting for more than half of his life for the moment when he would be reunited with his sister. He called her on the phone, but the emotions of the two were so intense that neither knew what to say. Eventually, the two met in Australia, 64 years after being separated. Liz Suda, who was present when her mother and uncle met, said, "Our story is a typical story of many families of our time, but from our point of view, it is our unique history".

Borai Kozokin, the Head Tracing Officer for Magen David Adom, concluded, "We are very happy that we could contribute to the reunification of yet another family. Not many people know it, but the tracing unit of Magen David Adom has been working for a few years already, with great success. Most of our work is with individuals who lost contact with relatives during or after World War II."

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