Holocaust Survivor Looking for His Twin A7734

April 7, 2013

This article was sent to me by my aunt who knows my interest in family genealogy I found it to be an amazing read and translated it into English, I hope you take a few moments, especially today Holocaust Memorial Day to read a sad, yet inspiring story.

Orginaly published at:http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4364316,00.html

Menachem discovered who he was, now stays twin A7734

“Will you be my father?” Asked the boy in Auschwitz the stranger.For decades, did not want to dig into the past.Only persistent researcher recently went out with him on a journey into the soul scarred and original identity.Stray close, but Mengele Twin have one more question that will not go: Dude, where are you?

Roi Mandel
Identical twins just know. As an internal sense the resulting link – Sensory between two people who shared a womb and genetic traits, nine months developed close together, protected in the amniotic fluid, umbilical cords attached both to the mother’s placenta. When twin feels something about his brother, even if separated by an ocean, chances instincts do not make a mistake it. Twins feel each other.

Menachem Bodner feel his brother Julie was still alive.

A7734 was a page on Facebook that has become viral and has been viewed by crowds in the world. “Looking for the twin wine (July) A7734, a survivor of Auschwitz.” From around the globe sent in response to terse.Page was to shares many stories in the media worldwide. Such stories illustrate how this wound still open. 68 years after the terrible war ended, there’s more remote Mlhigmr countless tragedies. A7734 is one of many stories of their final chapters yet to be written.

Menachem Bodner was not sure he wanted to be interviewed. He had one interview granted by the Daily Beast, “American made everyone interested, call, ask to hear more. Upstairs neighbor suddenly recognizes him in a stairwell, acquaintances past their support. Life just wanted to shake free from the deceptive memory returns to him at night, flooding imaginary and real demons from the past. And suddenly life visible to all. But now, after already underway, after finding out who he really is and where he came from, when he decided to “shoot big guns” – he understands that his only chance may resolve the question of his life. He takes a deep breath and stand behind his stalker number, had almost completely faded left hand arm: A7733.

“I do not know who I am”

Menachem Bodner always knew it was not his real name. But his real name is not known. “I remember I was called Mendel guys,” he told Ynet, “and I knew my twin brother also survived. Partner pushed me all the time looking for him, but I did not know where to start. Told her that I had a clue, I do not even know who I ‘. Lived most of his life feeling confused, almost forgotten childhood, fragile memories were returning dreams and nightmares every night.

תמונת ילדות שנותרה מהימים ההם. מנחם (אליאס) בילדותו
Childhood image left from those days.Menachem (Elias) as a child

Only when he was 23, shortly before the wedding, discovered where he came from. This was when he decided to contact his parents in Israel, Moses and Lola Bodner and ask. “When I was young I was not sure these are my parents, but I did not dare ask my adoptive father seemed like my biological father but my mother was too young. Moment before the wedding, I went into the living room and asked my sister to leave me alone with my parents.”

“Who am I?” Asked comforts the parents. So Moses father admitted that he had indeed adopted son. He said he met him on the day the Nazis leftAuschwitzon 23 January 1945. Searching for his wife and son in the camp, entered the hut. Menachem emerged from a hiding place and approached him. “Will you be my dad? ‘. The stranger, who lost his whole world, he decided to take the comforting him. “What is your name?” He asked.”Mendel E Gutman,” replied the boy – he thought his name. Menachem Moses lifted his hands and walked out. “I remember a bright light shot eyes, I went to light. I remember burning wood outside and partially destroyed stone wall,” says Menachem.

With the release of Moses returned to camp nearby town of residence and handed Oswieciem Menachem custody by a Christian family he had known before the war. Months later cashed it for 200 zloty. Menachem and Moses, he could marry Lola, who is also a survivor of the camp, left Poland to Germany, where they lived in an apartment by the Joint. In 1949, a ship en route to Israel. Moses told Menachem trying to locate the remains of his family in Israel, discovered the place of his birth is in Monktz’, Carpathians, Hungary, and his twin brother called July He published the name “Mendel Guttman” section to search for relatives, but nobody did. Hence let Moses and Lola with whom the child was left alone in the world.

They never talked about their experiences in Auschwitz, until that conversation – the night before the wedding of Menachem.

נבירה בארכיונים הניבה תוצאות. מסמכים מימי המחנה
Digging through the archives yielded results.Documents from the camp

“You Mengele twin”, told the parents, “and you have a twin brother we do not know what happened.” “I know,” he said consolingly. “I have not forgotten it.” This memory, the twin brother, gripped Bodner hard over the years and fought not to forget, as he forgot the rest of childhood memories simply deleted. Sometimes he pulls out a notebook and jot dreams to not fade. Even the memory of the brother July is not complete. He remembers him lying in bed, asleep with his eyes closed. This is the only image seared in his memory – his twin brother sleeping in the bed they shared together, foot to foot. Until the police knocking on the doors of their home.

Dream or Reality

How complex is the soul of a child defaced Auschwitz. Human brain has ways to protect itself sustained repression, but the defense has holes in the wall, for example dreams tonight. Menachem not remember anything but the day came to the house in uniform, on Passover 1944. Burn mind this event in detail. All his life he insisted to keep this memory as it was the most precious thing in his life. “Everything before that is just gone,” he admits.

“I was outside. On the right side of the road I saw two figures are growing up looking well, I remember the uniforms and boots. They proceeded to the front door, went inside. Told probably the father, it was noon. I remember my dad opening and closing cabinets and into . brother slept against the wall on the left side of the bed. he woke up this reality. Mama approach just plates to the table, I remember her blond hair, the white shirt she wore and green skirt with white flowers. dad I only remember his tall figure, I have no facial features. The following image in my head is that I carried on the shoulders of the father, there were a lot of people, but I was raised above all and saw their heads. later I realized it was the platform. I do not remember the trip., and from the camp, and many children., and in the shed concrete surface sloped on which we played. and one more memory, standing in line to get the tattoo., and holding me with both hands while another burner the number on my hand. I do not remember if I cried. “

Memories blurred stay at Auschwitz, Menachem not know if they had really happened. “There are pictures that I remember, single. Was a boy of three years and ten months.” The nights were hard most of his life. Dreams terror attack him again and again in his sleep. Mixed memories of people injured. “I go down the stairs, I see a room with a stretcher and wounded if it was not a dream – so I ran from the room, and hid the corner of a building. Additional memory I do not know if it was a dream or reality, is a person carried on a stretcher and I look at him through the fence wire., Eyes terrified, he looks at me and says, ‘Do not go there, and as he says it and taken away, the two hands holding me from behind and pass me over the fence. ”

When he got here he asked to integrate. What happened there, did not want to remember. “I wanted to maintain my sanity and be like everyone else, I made sure to be busy and energetic. Was a little heavy, but I was accepted in society and my parents made sure to wrap me in cotton wool. Was in youth movements and given it a lot of time in the army I served in intelligence and worked very hard. Concern for life to be very busy to I’d be tired. because the only chance I had to sleep deep, was if I fall from exhaustion., but there were many nights that really scared to sleep. would wake up in a panic with a feeling of suffocation, as a bone stuck in my throat and harder to breathe.

“Menachem was driving his car in the middle of the night and going to the beach in Bat Yam. There he found peace. This scenario repeated itself over and over again all these years. When he retired at the age of 60, the nightmares grew. Free time, he had tried to escape life, now filled day.Facing the crisis, turned to “you” gave him assistance and put back on your feet. In recent years, became fewer nightmares, then stopped. Only one feeling has not diminished – feeling his twin brother is still alive.

Following the number

Genealogy studied vault, 58, a resident returns from Australia, came across an interesting post last May family roots online forum. The message was very concise, stingy with information. “Coordination Mengele escaped from Auschwitz looking for his brother, this book details, please contact …”. The few and the fact that no one replied to the post, rather they challenge the vault to crack the mystery.

“Hidden message was more visible” she says. “The subtext of the message was, ‘I do not know how old I was, where I was born and I do not even know who I was born., But my twin I’m looking for.” Vault contacted creates the message, a relative of comforting. “What else do you know?” She asked. “That’s all we know,” she responded. “I realized that the number is the thread to find the twin needs to find out what the true identity of comfort”. Vault requested the number on hand of comfort. From here, things started rolling quickly.

עיינה קימרון. חיפוש מעמיק (צילום: אמיר לוי)
Studied vault.Thorough search(Photo: Amir Levi)

Studied was on the phone with Menachem, who gave her the number tattooed on his skin. “I asked him questions, I realized that there are no answers. He knows things about himself, believes knows the identity of biological but not sure., But has a tattoo.” Someone who is familiar with the work of the archive, the number could reach quickly through real name.Within a few days, using basic cross documents from the archives of Yad Vashem and Auschwitz Archive Archive of the International Tracing Service in Bad Arrolson absent, Germany, found his name: Elias Gottesman. And immediately after, the number of tracks, the twin brother Name: wine Gottesman.

“The Nazis made ​​lists, Division ofDr. Mengelewere twins names to Auschwitz. All he needs is to find out the number, “explains genealogy.” So I get there, but not where and when born. From this point begin to dig. “Voluntarily gave herself looked shaken project,” Research wonderful serene mental strength. ”

If it was that easy, why never tried comforting to discover his true identity using the number? Studied says he never asked him. “There are questions I never dared to ask,” she admits. “I quickly realized that this story is not the study of roots normal but a psychological process, therapeutic. Doing a makeover of one’s life through the archives it’s a little, you have to help him get through this. Was for me the fascinating and difficult. Ask why you did not seek to date this Calls for a guilty conscience and difficulty. For what? fact given that he did not know, what does it matter why? “.

מחפשים את הבית בהונגריה (צילום: אמיר לוי)
Looking for a house in Hungary(Photo: Amir Levi)

After discovering the name, set two meet. Menachem could not believe the findings. “When I met looked I was skeptical and she knows it,” he says.”But now I realize it was my medicine, she knew how to approach me, she was worried for my safety behind the scenes and my defense.” Studied revealed to him what she had discovered. She gave him a list tabulated by the Mengele twins Psychology was presented to Dr. Nancy Segal, who in the 80’s studied the subject. “Asked him if he identifies himself on the list, he identified the number but refused to call his name – Elias Gottesman.He refused to believe and sticking Mendel Guttman. “I immediately understood that a person who refuses to work in an archive, you need close supervision,” says studied. “It’s not easy to move as soon as one person Biological detect false identity. Said Menachem – know what, you stay in your position and I will continue to explore in parallel.’s Mind-he said he did not care. Broke up and started working.”

His cousin was looking for him all his life

Studied sifted through the archives, and began the work of the intersection.Every little detail is checked, any chance – even the slightest has expired.She discovered families from the village where he was born Elias Gottesman, found the brother of Elias and wine, Joseph, who was less than two years old baby, another list. Found a list of deportees from the village in which appeared the names and a list of anthropological measurements conducted by Mengele, which appeared in the biological mother. And suddenly – a real cross – found studied at Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony filled by Leo Kleinman, cousin of the twins, looking for his cousin Elias and wine all these years. Names them names, town – Streuno Hungarian mountains Krepto grounds – that town.

תיעוד של בית החולים של הצלב האדום, 9 בפברואר 1945
Documentation of the Red Cross Hospital, February 9, 1945

Immediately sought studied the lion Kleinman Israel. For an entire week called but no one answered. Mshtiiash looking for his sons. On the other line answered the son, who told her Maria Kleinman died two weeks earlier. “Lion Roots Kleinman did an amazing job,” says studied. “The problem is that he could not find the Elias Gottesman lived a few miles away, that Menahem Elias did not know it.”

Again she looked at comforting the findings, and told him Kleinman’s family in Be’er Sheva and they want to meet. Menachem proper, and about three weeks later and his wife traveled with and studied to meet the widow of a lion and three sons. “There was an extraordinary chemistry,” says studied. “When we left they were sure he lost cousin. Menachem was more hesitant, he needed more serious reference only that feeling is not enough, but it felt good.”

A month later, Menachem invited with his wife and grandson’s wedding studied the lion. The excitement was intense. “The children and the bride were very excited,” says Menachem. “They recognized similarities between facial and eye. Meeting was very special.” When they studied the question wedding Menachem how he feels now. “I was convinced I Gottesman,” he said.

הוריו של אריה קליינמן, הדוד (צילום: אמיר לוי)
Kleinman lion’s parents, uncle(Photo: Amir Levi)

He slowly began to internalize findings Menachem archives do not lie. A month after the wedding he plucked up courage and decided to undertake a journey to the town in which it was claimed that he was born. When he studied the family tree and photos made ​​by Arie Kleinman and his parents flew Lstreuno Hungary.“When we approached the street, said the lender stop,” says Menachem.“I recognized something familiar. Around crowded old town, one of them claimed that she lives in a house that belonged to the family Kleinman. Pulled out the picture and she recognized the mother of a lion, Golda. Asked if there were small children other family. She pointed to a nearby house and said – there were twins, the mother was a seamstress and father a baker. At that moment I knew I was closing a circle. “

When the woman told the family, comforting thought for a meeting that had occurred with the rise ship to Israel in 1949. A Jewish girl recognized him C”mndl guys, the baker’s son. ” With this consolidation, Menachem Bodner realized he Elias Gottesman.

Twin brother survived

When he returned to Israel spoke with the son of a lion. “Like it or not, I am your uncle,” said Menachem phone. At the same time, continued to study the work of digging roots. Barely managed to put her on a document prepared by the field hospital of Polish Red Cross with the liberation of Auschwitz. The list included the names of the mothers health and later – number A7734 and the name Gottesman July nickname of wine. This was proof twin brother survived the war. “In contrast Menachem not on any list that was taken by his adoptive father before recorded. We assume that the story of the life of the wine is the same as comforting,” says studied. “Just as Menachem forgot his identity when he left the camp, possibly twin brother that happened.”

As a mother lion Kleinman documents collected before his death, he discovered that Rosie survived Auschwitz, then transferred to Bergen-Belsen, and finished the war on a death march from the labor camp Flossenburg, Germany. After the war, returned to her home town.Testimonies collected from the locals, the mother lion found murdered in 46 ‘by anti-Semitic rioters.

At the age of 72, Menachem Bodner, namely Elias Gottesman, who founded his own family in Israel with a daughter and three grandchildren, discovered dozens of relatives he never knew existed. His heart expands when he talks about meetings and phone calls. “It’s nice to find that you have suddenly another 70 people, maybe more, they are family. Shlomi people ask, I ask welfare, meet celebrations. It makes me happy.”

Now ready for the next step in Menachem Closure. With studied he would go to Poland next month, will for the first time in Auschwitz.But the big task is not yet complete. To find his brother and figure out what happened.Perhaps at this very moment is found at two of the world, or perhaps a few kilometers from the home of Menachem, wine Gottesman, No. A7734, looking for his brother Elias.

Anyone who can help details about brother wine (July) Gutsman, or know children Auschwitz survivors who can tell the stories first few months of release, feel free to contact E – mailFamilyRoots2000@gmail.com

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  • IGS - Israeli Genealogy SocietyJanuary 3, 2014 at 5:40 am

    A) The researcher is AYANA KIMRON.
    B) Your reference is YNET.
    In legal terms, both of the above should be mentioned.

    • Zohar - Man of la BookJanuary 3, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Thanks for the comment and in legal terms, I agree.
      However, it’s a nice article which I blogged about, not a research paper.

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