by Jessica Murison, Red Cross Volunteer
Today marks a significant day in history, wherein detainees were liberated from Auschwitz, the deadliest concentration camp during World War II. It is estimated that over 1.1 million people died in the camp between 1940 and 1945. Many of the persons who survived Auschwitz have gathered at the site to commemorate the liberation they experienced 70 years ago. Almost all of today’s survivors were children at the time of detention. This year’s commencement is significant, in that this marks one of the last times when a large number of the elderly survivors from Auschwitz will gather together to acknowledge and remember Auschwitz, and advocate against anti-Semitism.
Here in the U.S., the American Red Cross continues to play a role in helping those who were affected by the genocide of the Holocaust. Through the Red Cross Restoring Family Links program, survivors are able seek information about family members they had been separated from during World War II.
Many of those who survived the horrors of the Holocaust were not able to track down their loved ones after the war, and some even assumed that they were the only survivors (See Saul’s story here). Years later, the Red Cross can help research those lost family members and seek to unveil their stories – and in some cases, even reunite family members. Restoring Family Links provides a free service to reconnect those who were disconnected, and to research as to what happened during the time of war.
Over the years, Red Cross has provided several people the solace of finally knowing what occurred, and has even been able to reconnect some survivors with their missing relatives. Although many of those who lived through the Holocaust are no longer with us, Red Cross continues to solve the mysteries for those family members, and aims to complete their stories.
To find out more about how you can help families separated by war, visit the Red Cross Restoring Family Links website at http://www.redcross.org/what-we-do/international-services/reconnecting-families.