Survivors went every which way

Reunited after 61 years

  • A match of Holocaust stories helps two sisters separated since 1944 find each other after going through the hardships of war to reach Israel

By Steven Erlanger

New York Times News Service

February 6, 2005


RISHON LETZION, Israel — Klara Bleier and Hana Katz thought each other dead, swallowed 61 years ago, like the rest of their family, in the maw of Auschwitz.

The sisters were separated in October 1944 in the Budapest ghetto when Katz left one day to find work and food. She never returned.

But both came through the chaos of the Nazi death marches and the refugee camps at the end of World War II; both came to Israel in 1948 and raised families, 45 miles apart; both thought they were sole survivors.

In the years since, Bleier’s son-in-law became obsessed with the missing family history. Katz’s granddaughter did too. Six years apart, they filed survivor testimonies with Yad Vashem, Israel’s center for Holocaust studies and commemoration.

A new computerized archive matched the two testimonies, and on Thursday — a week after heads of state marked the 60th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation — the two women were reunited.


At last the Soviet army liberated Budapest, she said, “and we all went to wherever we could find a place.”


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