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Jewish Man's Quest to Find Family

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发表于 11-6-2021 12:42:07 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 11-8-2021 16:44 编辑

Dov Lieber, Jewish Man's Quest to Find Family. Wall Street Journal, Nov 6, 2021, at page A9.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how ... -israel-11636119082

Note:
(a)
(i) Dov
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dov

(ii) For definition of dov, see (c)(i) below

(b) Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modi%27in-Maccabim-Re%27ut
(section 1 Etymology)

(c)
(i) דב or דוב (noun masculine; romanization  dov): "bear"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/דוב
(ii) Yad Vashem
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yad_Vashem
(section 1 Etymology [quoting Isaiah 56: 5] )

(iii) Hebrew-English dictionary:
(A) יד  (noun feminine; romanization: yád):
" * * *
2: hand
* * *
8: monument (memorial structure), shrine" (I am clueless about how to jump from definition 2 to definition 8.)
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/יד
(B) שם
(noun masculine; romanization shém): "name"
(adverb; romanization shám): "there"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/שם
(C) ו (the sixth letter of Henrew alphabet; romanization v or w):
Usage Notes: "For information about ו as a conjunction meaning roughly 'and,' see ו־ [which is NOT helpful]"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ו

(d) The WSJ report does not mention his name (which is unheard of), because he does not known his age, which is estimated to be 82.

--------------text
Modi'in, Israel—Families around the world have been reunited as countries ease border controls after months of Covid restrictions. Few homecomings have been as poignant—or unexpected—as Bolek Krutz’s journey into the past.


For decades, Mr Krutz, a retired X-ray technician from New Jersey, wondered who he really was. Born in Nazi-occupied Poland, he was adopted by a Jewish family that survived Holocaust and arrived in the US in 1969. His only clue to his true identity was the last name they told him he had been born with, Szczycki.

After years of fruitless searching for his birth family [presumably before the internet era], MrKrutz began to believe the name was made up.

“I’m done looking already. It’s obvious there’s nobody left,” Mr Krutz said he told himself at one point.

That is, until , until Mr. Krutz's daughter, Lisa Baron, a 45-year-old high-school English teacher, began her own investigation. Two years ago she joined a Hewish youth group pm a trip tp Po;amd, As she explained herfather;s search she decided to uncover the past, with the onset of the pandemic pusing her on further.

“The pandemic made us realize -- survivors aren’t going to be around forever,” Ms Baron said. “Life is so short I need to figure it out.”

Her first post on a Facebook group dedicated to tracing Jewish genealogy came around six months before the pandemic began. “Long shot! Looking for ideas,” her opening line read.

Ms Baron went on to explain how her father had been hidden as a child during World War II and that the Christian family that took him in said they knew nothing about his birth family, or how he came to be in their car, and asked for advice on what to do.

Get a DNA test, came a chorus of replies.

Parents and their children share around half their DNA [this is certain], as do siblings 0not true, there is a wide range]. Half siblings shared 25% and first cousins around 12.5%, on average [’on average’ is the key; but any two persons in the same category have wide range of DNA sharing].

In Mr Jrutz’s case, the [DNA] results breathed new life into a trail that had long been cold.

* * * The data  [DNA] connected Mr Krutzwith three distant [judging by (little) DNA sharing] relatives in the US and Australia who had taken DNA tests. And buried in their family trees were Szczycki, propnounced “Shztisky.” The name was real.

Next, Ms Baron needed to find whether there were any close relatives. One of her correspondents on Facebook, Lisa Brahin, stepped in.

Ms Brahin is an author and researcher with a track record in solving genealogical mysteries, and a special expertise in tracing Jewsih families.

Using the name Szczycki, she trawled through the Shoal's Victim Names Database at Israel’s main Holocayst museum, Yad Vashem, Ns Brahin then built an extensive family tree, eventually pinpointing a child she believed could be the boy who would become X-ray technician in New Jersey. The crucial document came from a woman who, in 1856, described how her brother named Avraam Szczycki, died in Warsaw Ghetto [which was a walled Warsaw prison, not a concentration camp] in 1942.

Listed along with Avraam Szczycki was a single child also thought to have perished: a 2-year-old boy named Berl.

The young Berl hadn’t died, Ms Brahin theorized. He had been taken in by a Christian family ho called him Bolek, the Polish form of Berl.After the war, they left the boy in a Jewish orphanage, which listed his name with a different spelling. Then another family ]Jredih] -- the Krutzes -- adopted him.

But was Berl Szczycki really the soft-spoken man now known as Bolek Grutz?

To prove her case, Ms Brahin had one good lead. The woman who initially listed the young Berl as dead had a daughter still living in Israel, Esti Kissilov. If she shared enough of Mr Krutz’s DNA to be his first cousin, it would be the strongest evidence yet of where he came from.

Urged by Ms Brahin, along with another researcher who had reached the same conclusion, Ms Baron set about convincing a total stranger to takes a DNA test. The results hit a bull's-eye: Ms Kissilov, 72, and Mr Krutz have enough common DNA for them to be first cousins [It is a wide range for statistics, covered by siblings, first , second cousins etc].

Ms Brahin said she was stunned. While DNA tests can't conclusively prove exact familial relations [which is true. For anyone who claims Thomnas Jefferson fathered children with his slave, the commentator is lying. DNA only says that somebody genetically identical or closely related to Thomas Jefferson fathered the offspring], It was enough to show that her thesis was most likely correct: A family had been nearly obliterated during the Holocaust, yet one boy had survived.  

[A short sentence is omitted]

"The next challenge was to find a way for Mr Krutz to get to Israel to meet his cousin.

For months, the country [Israel] has had some of the world's strictest entry requirements to contain Covid-19. Tourists -- including Americans -- were barred.

[a mall paragraph is omitted that says Yad Vashem assisted the Krutzes for entry permit.

On Thursday [Nov 4, 2021], Mr Krutz met Ms Kssilov for te first time at a house the Krutzes rented in the town of modi'in.

[one small paragraph omitted, describing the meeting scene]

Ms Kissilov said her mother, the aunt whose testimony to Yad Vashem provided the breakthrough clue, had never given up lookimng for family.

For Mr Krutz, it was like entering another dimension she never knew. "I'm finally hugging someone from the world that doesn't exist," he said.

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