Discover your inside story. Save 20% on Ancestry DNA April 21-26

April 9, 2013

Auschwitz Survivor Searching for Long Lost Twin Brother

Auschwitz Survivor Searching for Long Lost Twin Brother
Eli as a child
Eli Gottesman and his twin brother Jeno (Jolli) were incarcerated in Auschwitz. When the camp was liberated, Eli was 4 years old and he did not know if his family was alive. He was given the name Menachem Bodner and taken to Israel by a man who became his adopted father.

All Menachem remembers is that he had a brother and a mother, and in his pocket was a worn family photo. Over the years he tried searching for his family and his twin but to no avail. Then Genealogist Ayana KimRon found his internet postings and contacted him. She began searching and it was Ayana who found Menachem's real name, and that of his brother.

Menachem has the Auschwitz ID number that will never be erased: A 7733. His twin Jeno's number was A 7734. The last record of Jeno is February 9, 1945.

Anaya turned to social media for help, setting up a Facebook page, A 7734, which has been viewed more than a million times.

Eli as he looks today
Anaya has found out more details of Eli's birth family including the fact that he had a baby brother, Josef, who died in Auschwitz. Bodner's birth father also died there but his mother, Roza Gottesman-Berger, not only survived several Nazi concentration camps, but returned to her home village of Stroino on the Ukraine-Hungary border, hoping to find her children.

It is not known what happened to Roza but extended family members and villagers say that shortly after her return, she was rounded up with other returning Jewish refugees and shot dead by Nazi-sympathizers.

Eli is 73 years old now and his consuming wish is to find out what happened to his twin brother Jeno. Anyone who has any knowledge or details should contact Anaya by visiting the Facebook page, A 7734 or contact Anaya at


Nancy said...

There are no words strong enough to describe how horrible the Holocaust was for all those who were persecuted, but especially for the children. The sadness of it. I hope Eli/Menachem is able to find his brother.

Mariann Regan said...

Together, social media and genealogy just might be able to make a reunion possible. That would be an astounding feat.

Rebecca said...

My heart is filled with tears for this man and all the others of the Holocaust.