10 Nov 2017

Girl’s Pendant Found at Nazi Camp Site Reunites a Family


More than 70 years ago, the record of a Nazi death camp in Sobibor, Poland, was nearly lost to history. But archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority have been excavating the site, uncovering mass graves, gas chambers, and, last year, a silver pendant that once belonged to a girl who is not known to have survived the war. The rare pendant is engraved with a birth date––“3.7.1929––the place name “Frankfurt A.M.,” and the Hebrew words mazal tov.

Now, thanks to the efforts of a grandson of Holocaust survivors, more than 30 relatives of the girl, identified as Karoline Cohn, who would have been about 12 at the time of World War II, are gathering this week in Germany to dedicate a memorial in her honor. Many of these relatives, who are travelling from the US, Israel, Japan, the UK, Nicaragua, and beyond, have never met or known of their connections to this lost girl.

“We had this person who was completely forgotten, even by her surviving relatives,” said Chaim Motzen (MBA 2006), who pieced together the girl’s family tree and told the story to the Times of Israel. In his research, he was able to identify more than 100 cousins around the world.

“Through this pendant, people are learning about each other and their history,” said Motzen. “We now know the fate of Karoline’s cousins, aunts and uncles, many of who were murdered in the Holocaust; people who were mostly forgotten.”

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 2006, Section H

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