Tracing Services Help Holocaust Survivors Find Loved Ones

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Monday, April 8, 2013) — In recognition of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, the American Red Cross is reaching out to Holocaust survivors and their families to let them know about Red Cross tracing services.

Since 1990, the American Red Cross has helped over 45,000 families search for information and documentation of their loved ones after they were separated during the Holocaust. This work has resulted in locating and reconnecting 1,600 people.

Read the story about Gunter Ullmann, a Bay Area resident who was reunited with a childhood friend he lost touch with during the Holocaust with help from Red Cross tracing services.

Ullmann thought that when his family fled Nazi Germany during World War II he would never see Elfriede Hubner, now Elfriede Haas, again. Some 75 years later, Ullmann traveled to Germany for a reunion with Haas after Red Cross caseworkers scoured records from the former Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center and more than 180 Red Cross societies around the world for clues to find her.

HOLOCAUST AND WAR VICTIMS TRACING So many years after World War II, the pain of being separated still affects many. The American Red Cross Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center was closed in November 2012 but through its national Restoring Family Links program, the Red Cross continues to help residents of the United States search for information about loved ones missing since the Holocaust.

Tracing services are free and use the worldwide network of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, including the Magen David Adom in Israel, as well as museums, archives and international organizations to help find information.

HOW TO BEGIN YOUR SEARCH Contact your local Red Cross chapter. These searches are complex and can take a year or more to find results. Information has been found in more than 79 percent of cases and some, like Gunter Ullmann and Elfriede Haas, have been reunited after so many years apart.