Daily Israel Report

Video: Cousins Meet for First Time at Yad VaShem

Liora Tamir was certain she had no living relatives from the time of the Holocaust...until she searched Yad VaShem's database and found her cousin.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 4/27/2011, 4:39 AM / Last Update: 4/27/2011, 7:57 AM

A very special and rare meeting recently took place at Yad Vashem, when Israeli cousins Liora Tamir and Aryeh Shikler met for the very first time after discovering one another thanks to Yad Vashem’s database of names of Holocaust survivors.

Liora Tamir was born in Russia and was sent to an orphanage in Leningrad after her mother’s death. She had been certain that she had no relatives left alive. Since her arrival in Israel she has been looking for any of her relatives who may have still been alive. With the assistance of her daughter, she looked at Yad Vashem’s online database of names of Holocaust victims, hoping to find information about her grandmother.

During the search, Tamir came across the name Simcha Shikler and later discovered that this was her uncle who had died. Tamir continued her search until she came across the name of Aryeh Shikler, Simcha’s son and hence her cousin.

“I think that certain things can bring about such special moments,” said Tamir after first meeting her newly found cousin. “First of all there’s the Internet and then there’s Yad VaShem. If there were no Yad VaShem and there were no testimonies there, then we wouldn’t know. Life would go on differently. I hope that now everything will be a little different.”

“There’s not much to say to wrap up such a time period and such events,” said Aryeh Shikler. “I can only say one thing: It’s a shame that those who were part of the story are no longer with us.”