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Sunday, June 17, 2007

A long-overdue follow-up

Sorry to leave you on the edge of your seats with the post about Ariella's amazing discovery last week.  There is still a lot of information to be gathered, but here's what we know right now:

1.  Dr. Nachum Bogner is very much alive (and should be well until 120, tfu, tfu tfu!).  He is a well-respected military historian and has penned at least one book that a helpful treppenwitz reader was nice enough to bring to my attention.  When Ariella called Dr. Bogner on the phone he was absolutely delighted to hear from her and they had a nice conversation about his family and what he knew about other 'Bogners' in Israel (some related to him and some not).

2.  It isn't clear yet if we are related to Dr. Bogner or not.  This is because he has no idea what became of his extended family in Poland... who they were... who managed to escape... where they ended up during/after the war, etc.  Having left Europe as a small boy with only what he was wearing on his back, he doesn't know if perhaps a cousin or uncle went to the US and became the patriarch of what would become my family. 

3.  Dr. Bogner lives about 20 minutes from us and I hope that we will be able to go visit him once we have done a little more research about our side of the family.  Then, we will hopefully be in a better position to compare notes with him about his branch of the family tree here in Israel.

4.  I imagine that this sort of thing happens all the time here in Israel.  However, my fear is that as this last generation of survivors disappears from our midst, that the holocaust will cease to be real for our children... and for the children of the world.  The volumes of testimony that have been collected and catalogued can only go so far... and certainly can't compare to the sound of a friendly, helpful voice of a possible relative on the other end of the phone.

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Posted by David Bogner on June 17, 2007 | Permalink

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Knowing you, I suspect Ari will adopt him as an uncle whether or not common brances in the family trees are found.

Posted by: Albert | Jun 17, 2007 4:28:17 PM

Very cool! I somehow missed the first post on this (not sure how that was possible!). Now I understand the e-mail that Ari sent me asking about "Grandpa's Dad's brother"!)
Anyway.. keep us posted when you contact him.

Posted by: val | Jun 17, 2007 4:54:12 PM

This story just continues to get cooler! I can't wait to hear about the visit.

Posted by: orieyenta | Jun 18, 2007 3:08:32 AM

Thanks for posting the update. Can't wait for more details. What a great connection you've made, whether or not he turns out to be related.

Posted by: AnnieD | Jun 18, 2007 6:11:05 AM

Thanks for the update, David. If Ari or you are interested in carrying the genealogy search further, there are plenty of resources here in Israel.

Posted by: jennifer | Jun 19, 2007 9:40:31 AM

Albert... A fairly safe assumption. :-)

val... You missed one of my posts?! [sob]

orieyenta... I'll try to take notes. :-)

AnnieD... My thoughts exactly.

jennifer... Feel free to share (although I am a bit intimidated by the idea of searching databases in Hebrew). :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 19, 2007 3:08:05 PM

Doesn't matter if you're really 'related'. You're related enough. Just the way Ariella saw his picture and you were able to reach him at all is amazing. Keep us posted.

I once went to see the mother of the accountant where my daughter was going to pre-school (here in the US). She happened to be living in the kibbutz whose guest house our tour group was going to be staying in. Go figure. There's that 6 degrees of separation stuff.

Posted by: Iris | Jun 20, 2007 7:32:12 PM

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