It’s a reunion 75 years in the making. With some help from social media, a Holocaust survivor in London has been able to connect with the family of an American soldier who helped save her from a Nazi death camp.
The search began with a piece of Germany currency, with a message of hope written on it from an America G.I. It says "Good luck and happiness, and start to a new life."
Lily Ebert was 16-years-old in 1945 when she and her sisters were liberated by American forces. They survived Auschwitz where the Nazis murdered nearly a million Jews and thousands of others. "I lost my mother, brothers, sister, that was a terrible thing," Ebert said.
Now 90-years-old and living in London, Ebert shared the note and story with her great grandson, Dov Forman. He then turned to social media to search for the soldier. "Suddenly, I get on Twitter and I had a few thousand notifications and then suddenly someone tweeted me saying, this must be the soldier,” Forman said.
The soldier turned out to be Private Hayman Shulman of New York, who died 9 years ago. Ebert finally got her chance to thank his family. "All the time I looked after it, because it was, for me, something special,” she said.
The outreach came as a surprise to Shulman's family. The private never told them about the encounter. Shulman’s son, Jason, said "I was shaken because suddenly he wasn't my father and all of the history we had had together. Instead he was this young man in the throes of war doing something extremely kind for somebody, and it was actually overwhelming.”
The families are now planning to meet in person once the coronavirus pandemic passes.