(JERUSALEM) — A 72-year-old Auschwitz survivor has taken his search for his twin brother to Facebook.
Menachem B., who wants to keep his last name private, last saw his brother 68 years ago when he was 4 years old. Menachem B.’s given name was Elias Gottesmann. He changed his name after surviving the concentration camp.
If his brother Jeno Gottesmann is alive, he could be anywhere with any name. The only definite link between the two is the “A7734” tattooed on their forearms from the concentration camp.
Memories from the time are few, but Menachem remembers that he had a twin brother. He also has a distinct memory of being outside playing in the yard and knowing his brother was asleep in bed when Nazi officers came to the house to take them. They lived in an area of Hungary that is now part of Ukraine. After surviving the Holocaust, the twins were separated.
Menachem, who now lives in Israel, recounted the memories to Ayana KimRon, the Israeli genealogist who is helping him look for his brother.
After months of research and dead ends, KimRon turned to Facebook for the world’s help.
She posted a black and white photo of 5-year-old Menachem after the war and a photo of him now. The photo of him as a child has been shared more than 50,000 times and the Facebook page has more than 12,000 supporters from around the world.
KimRon said they have both been surprised and “overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support from around the world. “In general, he feels lucky with the support and prayers and hope from all over the world,” KimRon said. “I’m updating him at least once a day, if not twice.”
KimRon said that the draw to Menachem and his story is stronger than just wanting to solve a mystery. She hopes helping him find his brother could “help him have a different state of mind and more emotional freedom in his life.” “It’s a tough mission, but we’ll get there,” she said confidently. “I gave him a promise,” KimRon said. “I’m going to find his brother dead or alive, even if it takes me my whole life. I’m not going to stop.”
Anyone with information about Jeno is asked to email FamilyRoots2000@gmail.com.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Elizabeth Roberts, CNN
Ivana Kottasova, CNN