H. Z. is a physician. She lives in Israel and is the grandmother of seven grandchildren. She was born in Lvov (once in Poland) at the end of 1938. Before her parents were sent to the Lvov Ghetto. she was handed over to her aunt.
When danger closed in on her aunt, she was given to a gentile village woman who, along with her sister, protected her as if she were a member of their family.
For this they were, after many years, recognized as "righteous among the gentiles."
After the end of the War, these gentile sisters appealed to the Jewish Agency and reported about the girl that they protected and even succeeded in locating a relative from her mother's side of the family who then raised her in her home. H.Z. was an excellent student and studied medicine in Lvov in the same university where her Father has also studied medicine.
As a relative of the family that raised her, she came to know many things about her mother's family. It was a well off family of physicians. But about her father she knew nothing. From this situation we began our research (She and I worked together, since in this kind of research it is essential that the interested party take an active part.)
Before I entered into the picture, H.Z. had already done many things in order to find out something about her father. She wrote to archives in Lvov, memorialized her parents at Yad V'Shem, hired a talented investigator (who publicized her story in Israel and in other countries). She met in Prague with the Brother of her Mother, but did not succeed in learning anything from him about the Father.
After research over a period of 2 years that included document searches of archives and professional contacts, we succeeded in finding a local investigator in the Ukraine that sent us the father's Diploma, pictures of his house and the clinic in which he practiced medicine. More recently, with much further effort, (the Ukrainians do not usually cooperate with investigators and family members who are searching for documents) we found the marriage certificate of her parents. This was quite an achievement, since H.Z. also for the first time learned who her Grandfather and Grandmother were and when her parents were married. This was almost an impossible mission, but we persisted until we achieved our goal.
Byproducts of the research:
H.Z. now has a clearer picture about her parents and the beginnings of a Family Tree on her Father's side of the family.
H.Z.'s grown children have become interested in their family history.