Case History 2: Stefan

About a year ago a message was posted on Jewishgen: "will someone help me find my father". It was from a 35 year old Australian who had never seen his father. The boy had been born in Germany and his mother had taken him to start a new life in Australia.

All we had was a photograph of the father on a beach taken some 40 years earlier, a possible name - and some distinctive foot injury details.

Some months later the two met...

Stefan, from Melbourne, writes:

"In 1996 I posted a notice in an Internet newsgroup on Jewish Genealogy, asking if anybody knew the whereabouts of my father, an Israeli who had separated from my German mother when I was an infant.

A man replied - a David Lewin from London. He told me about his Search and Unite agency. After a period of correspondence, and some initial trepidation, I authorised Search and Unite to undertake a search for my father, supplying the scant details I had - a name, one photo, and details of a foot injury.

Given the lack of information I had, I thought the chances of tracing my father would be next to zero.

I was therefore very surprised when, after having travelled to Germany two months later at the age of 32, I received a phone call from David Lewin saying that he had found my father.

I spent the next months in Israel, meeting my father, my siblings, and scores of relatives I never knew I had. It was a wonderful reunion, and has since made a vast difference to my life.

Throughout the often emotional process David has proved invaluable as sleuth, researcher, facilitator and unofficial counsellor. He was sensitive to the feelings involved, and ensured that I was aware of all possible consequences of the search. He spoke to my father at length before I did, smoothing the way for a comfortable and relaxed reunion.

I'm grateful to David for his role as catalyst and helper in this most extraordinary chapter of my life, and would recommend Search and Unite to anyone else contemplating searching for lost relatives or friends." e-mail Stefan

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