‘Finally I know who I am’: Holocaust survivor’s daughter reunited with long lost brother in Poland

‘Finally I know who I am’: Holocaust survivor’s daughter reunited with long lost brother in Poland

A Toronto woman who had been searching for her biological parents since she was a child finally has the answers she longed for at the age of 77.

Elena Milman was born in a displaced persons camp in 1947 and first learned she was adopted when she was six years old living on a Kibbutz in Israel.

A child told a group of kids that some might not be with their real parents —sparking her decades long search for the truth.

“Finally I know who I am,” an emotional Milman said in an interview with CTV News Toronto Wednesday.

After years of questions and hard work Milman eventually tracked down her mother in Montreal at the age of 32. She travelled there and spent a year with her mother’s family and got to know two half siblings.

Milman came to learn her mother had escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocast and had been living with a hidden identity until the end of the war.

Her mother provided almost no information about her father, except that he was a great singer and dancer.

After Milman’s mother died and she retired from teaching, she investigated her family history further and wrote her autobiography in Hebrew.

Three years ago, she decided to provide a DNA sample to the online genealogy platform MyHeritage. The sample didn’t lead to anything but it caught the attention of the research team at the company.

Then three months ago, Milman was invited to a meeting with the head of its team.

“He told me that my father was a virtuoso violinist and a singer and this is what I was. I was a singer and I played violin. I burst into (crying ),” she said holding back tears. “The best proof there is no mistake.”

Milman has four children and 10 grandchildren. She said that the finding not only makes her feel complete but it means she can finally share her family history with her loved ones.

With her father’s identity revealed, she also learned she has two more half siblings, and recently went to Poland to meet her brother.

“He is a very warm person, with sense of humour. He knows how to sing, we walked together in the morning and sing. We found every time we found more similarities.

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