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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Chanukah Miracle:
Sister and Brother, Holocaust survivors, reunited in Israel

After 65 years
. . . a brother and sister separated since the Holocaust were reunited in Israel this week.

78-year-old Binyamin Shilon believed for most of his life that his sister had been murdered by the Nazis, along with the rest of his family in Poland. 73-year-old Shoshana November, Shilon’s sister, had presumed him part of the six million Jews lost in the Holocaust, as well.

During the Holocaust, Shoshana November was sent to a concentration camp and was eventually selected to be sent to the gas chambers. A stranger saved her life by pushing her into a line for slave labor rather than gassing. Binyamin Shilon joined the Soviet Red Army. In 1945 he was sent to Poland with orders to liberate the death camps there. After the war each decided independently to immigrate to Israel in 1948.

Their reunion came about after a friend of Shoshana’s convinced her to visit Israel’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, last Friday.

She started looking through the archive for members of her husband's family because she assumed that she herself "had no one left," but a member of the archive’s staff typed her information into the database and discovered that her brother Binyamin was still alive. Mr. Shilon had left his details just two weeks earlier in the Holocaust museum's "Pages of Testimony."

On Saturday night following the end of the Jewish Sabbath, Binyamin and Shoshana saw each other for the first time since 1938. They lit a Chanukah menora (candelabrum) together and thanked God for reuniting them. They found they had been living just a 90-minute drive from each other.

"We jumped on one another and we hugged and kissed and it was hard to talk — it was hard to think," Mrs. November said of their meeting.

"I looked for her and my siblings during all the years after the war. In the end it happened like a Chanukah miracle," Mr. Shilon added.
Baruch HaShem, this story from Arutz Sheva.