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February 22, 2021 10:16 am

82 Years Later, Reunited Childhood Friends Torn Apart By Holocaust Zoom Regularly

avatar by JNS.org

Survivors at the Dachau concentration camp cheer their liberation by US soldiers. Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.

JNS.org – Two Jewish friends from Berlin who believed that each other had been killed during World War II and the Holocaust recently reunited with the help of the USC Shoah Foundation.

After Ana María Wahrenberg and Betty Grebenschikoff said goodbye to each other in a German school year in May 1939, Wahrenberg’s family fled to Chile, while Grebenschikoff traveled to the United States via Shanghai. This past fall, they saw each other again via Zoom for the first time in 82 years.

“In her [USC Shoah Foundation] testimony, Betty said she had been actively searching for her long-lost friend for her entire life; she even specifically mentions Ana María’s name in the hopes that this will help her find her best childhood friend,” said Rachael Cerrotti, who works as a creative producer for the USC Shoah Foundation, which has more than 55,000 video testimonies from Holocaust survivors and witnesses, reported the Times of Israel.

After hearing Wahrenberg speak at a virtual Kristallnacht event, Holocaust testimony indexer Ita Gordon remembered Grebenschikoff’s testimony given to the foundation 24 years ago and made the connection between the two women. Cerrotti said “what followed was a series of phone calls” to put the two women back in touch.

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