Cousins separated during Holocaust reunite for first time in 75 years

Two cousins who were separated during the Holocaust had an emotional reunion last month, after 75 years in which neither one knew the other was alive. 

The last time Morris Sana and Simon Mairowitz saw one another, they were children escaping Nazis during the height of World War II. Sana was 11 or 12 when he was separated from Mairowitz, who was 10 at the time, according to Good Morning America. 

Now, the two men are in their 80s, and their heartwarming reunion is going viral.  

The unexpected encounter was, in part, planned by Carmela Ofer, Sana's daughter, who described the family as an "emotional wreck" when the men finally saw each other again. 

"We cried and cried and cried and cried. We couldn’t get one word out," Ofer told Good Morning America.

Ofer said she found out about Mairowitz last month after one of her cousins, Carol Ritter Elbaz, called to tell her that she'd found relatives of theirs who were "alive and well" in England.

According to Israel's Holocaust victim memorial that side of their family was listed as having "perished" during WWII. But after Elbaz submitted her information to a Jewish genealogy website, she found out that wasn't the case. 

Elbaz connected with Mairowitz's daughter, who sent over pictures of her dad. Ofer saw the photos and immediately knew he and Sana were related. 

"I immediately recognized [Mairowitz] because he looks exactly like my dad," Ofer said.

The families started talking and managed to organize a reunion between the two men in Israel. The video, posted by Leetal Ofer, Sana's granddaughter, has now been shared nearly 1,500 times on Facebook.

"The war tore so many families apart and to bring them together in Israel is so magical," Leetal Ofer's post read. 

Both men embrace immediately when they see each other, hugging each other tightly as they shed tears of joy. 

"75 years you waited," Mairowitz says to Sana. "It was a long time, but we've got each other now."

"I'm glad to see you," Sana says as he begins crying again.

The cousins led largely different lives during the 75 years they were apart, according to Good Morning America. Sana escaped the Holocaust in Paris, moving to Israel shortly after the war. Mairowitz, meanwhile, was rescued by an English colonel and brought back to England, where he grew up Catholic. 

Sana said he last saw his cousin in Romania, sometime between 1943 and 1944. Thankfully, the two men won't have to wait that long to see one another again. 

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.