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Two cousins separated during Holocaust have emotional reunion 75 years later

Posted at 9:43 PM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 22:43:50-04

Two cousins who were separated while fleeing from Nazis in World War II have been reunited 75 years later.

ABC News reports that Morris Sana and Simon Mairowitz lost each other while fleeing the regime. Sana said the last time he remembers seeing his cousin was in either 1943 or 1944.

Sana's brothers had been killed by Nazis, and Sana's daughter, Carmela, said she believes her father escaped capture because "he was a blonde, blue-eyed boy with 'Aryan' features."

Sana escaped with his sister and mother.

The men were reunited after another cousin had placed an ad on JewishGen while working on the family's genealogy. Her post caught the attention of her now-known cousin Gemma Brown in England.

Ofer had submitted a DNA test years ago, and her test matched the DNA of Brown and her mother, Alison O'Callaghan - Mairowitz's daughter.

Elbaz sent Ofer pictures of Mairowitz and Ofer said she knew immediately that he was family. "He looks exactly like my dad."

"He looks exactly like my dad."

Ofer and O'Callaghan FaceTimed one another in "an emotional phone call."

But there was another twist that made the reunion even more amazing.

Mairowitz and his family had been listed as "perished" in Holocaust at Yad Vashem, which is Israel's memorial to Holocaust victims.

Ofer said her father couldn't believe his cousin was still alive.

Ofer and her family were soon leaving for Israel to attend a family wedding and learned that O'Callaghan and Mairowitz would also be in Israel. The families decided to meet there.

The emotional reunion has now gone viral.

Sana and his family traveled through Italy into Paris, and then to Israel.

Mairowitz escaped to England.

The cousins are two years apart, but are now reunited again.

As a personal, final push against the Nazis, the cousins traveled to Yad Vashem to change their records.

They are now survivors.

Read ABC News' full story and watch their emotional reunion here.