A 70-year-old woman finally got to meet her birth mother earlier this month after they were separated during World War II.
Margot Bachmann was born in October 1944 when her Italian mother was working in Heidelberg, Germany. Bachmann was adopted by the family of her father, a German soldier, and later told her Italian birth mother had died during the war.
When her father died last year, Bachmann contacted the International Tracing Service for help.
“When I began to look into the whereabouts of my mother to find out a little more, I never imagined that I would one day be able to hug her,” Bachmann told Italian newspaper Il Quotidiano, the Guardian reported. “My father had forbidden me from looking for her, but after his death and thanks to the wonderful help of my own daughter, I have found her.”
Bachmann wrote to her mother prior to the meeting to introduce herself.
“Dear Mum, my name is Margot Bachmann and I am your daughter, born on Oct 25 1944 in Heidelberg. All my life I asked my family about you, without being given any answers. I want to come and find you so that I can hug you once again. I’m immensely happy to be able to finally know you,” she wrote in a letter, according to Lift Bump.
Bachmann’s mother, now 91, told her daughter at the meeting why she hadn’t looked for her.
“I thought you were dead, otherwise I would have searched for you,” she said.
Bachmann’s mother chose to remain anonymous because of the hostility that was shown by some Italians towards those who had relationships with Germans during the war.
“I can understand her position,” said Elena Carletti, the mayor of Novellara, the village in northern Italy where the woman lives, The Telegraph reported. “In this village, people have not forgotten [the war]. Even my generation knows the names of those who, during the war, were for or against the Germans. These stories still weigh heavily on many families.
“This encounter between a mother and daughter reminds us of a complicated chapter of history.”