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The Names Database Reunites Two Sisters

February 6, 2005

Hannah Katz (left) and Klara Beier together again Hannah Katz (left) and Klara Beier together again
Hannah Katz (left) and Klara Beier greet each other as family members look on Hannah Katz (left) and Klara Beier greet each other as family members look on

Recently, two sisters, separated in October 1944 in the Budapest ghetto in Hungary, were reunited after 61 years as a result of a search of the Yad Vashem Names Database conducted by the granddaughter of one of the sisters.

Klara Blaier, 81, and Hannah Katz, 78, were born to the Weiss family in a village near the town of Mukachevo (better known as Munkacs by the Jewish community that once flourished there) in what was then Czechoslovakia. After the war broke out, their parents sent them separately to relatives in Hungary. The two last saw each other in 1944, after the Nazis occupied Hungary. Both survived camps and death marches, came to Israel in 1948 and raised families 45 miles apart. Both thought they were the only survivors from their families.

Recently, Hannah Katz's granddaughter Merav Zamir searched the Yad Vashem Names Database and found two Pages of Testimony with her great grandmother's name - Sheindl Weiss - on them. One page had been filled out Merav Zamir for her grandmother in 1999 and the other was filled out by Klara Blaier in 1993. The details on each Page of Testimony were the same, but as far as Zamir knew, her grandmother had no surviving siblings. Zamir contacted Yad Vashem, who then assisted the families in making contact immediately. After 61 years, Klara Beier and Hana Katz were finally reunited.