A man who was separated from his twin brother at an Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944 is now on the search for him by using Facebook.
Elias Gottesmann, 72, was three years old when he and his brother were separated at the death camp. He remembers he was playing outside when Hitler’s men came to take him and his brother, who was sleeping inside, to Auschwitz.
He also has a tattoo that the Nazis scratched into both of their arms. Gottesman’s says No. A7733 and Jeno, his brother, has No. A7734.
After he left the camp, a lot has changed. His name was changed to Menachem B. and he moved to Israel. Despite the long period of time and distance, he has never forgotten his brother and is always feeling like part of him is missing.
Once he made a Facebook page dedicated to finding Jeno, he quickly gained a following, and more than 16,000 people have pledged to help him reunite with his twin.
His story was brought to the attention of Ayana KimRon, an Israeli genealogist who was interested in a posting one of Menachem’s relatives put on a genealogical forum. She emailed him and wanted to hear his story.
“I got hooked. I knew that if it’s not me, nobody is going to do it,” KimRon said.
Since they were twins, KimRon thinks they were forced to undergo “criminal medical experiments” at the camp. The Facebook page, titled “A7734,” explains that the twins were separated just a couple of days before the camp was freed.
On January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army entered the camp and Menachem was able to find a man who was also searching for his family.
He asked the man to be his father, and told him that he didn’t like the soldiers who did not save his brother.
Soon, Menachem and his new family moved to Israel. After a few years, his new parents told him what he said to them on that day.
But Menachem is still hoping that his twin is alive.
“He sensed his brother, that he was alive somewhere,” KimRon said.
Jeno, or Jolli, could be living anywhere and could be going by a different name.
“Maybe he too changed his name, maybe even changed his religion,” KimRon said. “He may be your neighbor, friend or even relative.”
Thousands have shared the Facebook page in hopes that it will soon find its way to Jeno.
New clues have revealed that Jeno was adopted by a Christian family and taken to America.
If his brother isn’t alive, Menachem still would be happy to just meet his relatives.
“I gave him a promise,” KimRon said. “I’m going to find his brother dead or alive, even if it takes me my whole life. I’m not going to stop.”