A mother was reunited with the daughter she previously thought died during World War II.
According to The Washington Post, an unnamed 91-year-old Italian woman moved to Germany during the war to work in a factory. While there, she met a German soldier, and in 1944, she was pregnant with his child.
Her parental custody was soon removed, however, and her newborn daughter ended up in a children's home for the remainder of the war.
After the war ended, the German soldier's family adopted the child and raised her as Margot Bachmann, but the child's mother, who returned to Italy, was left under the impression her child died from illness or was killed when Germany was attacked, The Telegraph reports.
Bachmann's German father also allegedly claimed her mother was dead, but Bachmann said she never believed him. So when her father died last year, a 70-year-old Bachmann set out to find her mother.
She obtained her mother's full name from her original birth certificate before seeking out Germany's International Tracing Service (ITS) for more information.
The ITS and Italian Red Cross soon found Bachmann's mother was still living in her original hometown, Novellara.
According to The Telegraph, in a letter to her mother, Bachmann wrote,
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.
The two reunited in Italy last weekend for what Laura Bastianetto of the Italian Red Cross called a "small miracle."
The mother and daughter enjoyed wine, exchanged gifts and looked at family photos.
We were lucky because in all these years, the mother had not moved away from her home town. We were able to trace her fairly quickly. We hope that the mother, who believed she had lost her daughter forever, can now make up for lost time. She doesn't know when, but she is sure to come back as soon as possible.
In a news release, Friederike Scharlau of the ITS said it is "extraordinarily rare" for children to find their parents after being separated from them by the Nazis.
Most of the time, he said, the organization is only able to locate cousins or siblings of a lost relative.
Citations: 71 years after being separated by the Nazis a mother is reunited with her daughter (The Washington Post), Italian woman reunited with daughter she had with Nazi soldier 70 years ago (The Telegraph)