, 2022-11-30 16:45:00,
November 30th, 5:45 PM EST
A genealogy testing kit for Ancestry/DNA is displayed in the Ackman and Ziff Family Genealogy Institute research area at the Center for Jewish History (CJH), Nov. 29, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
NEW YORK (AP) — For decades, Jackie Young had been searching.
Orphaned as an infant, he spent the first few years of his life in a Nazi internment camp in what is now the Czech Republic. After World War II he was taken to England, adopted and given a new name.
As an adult, he struggled to learn of his origins and his family. He had some scant information about his birth mother, who died in a concentration camp. But about his father? Nothing. Just a blank space on a birth certificate.
That changed earlier this year when genealogists used a DNA sample to help find a name — and some relatives he never knew he had.
Having that answer to a lifelong question has been “amazing,” said Young, now 80 and living in London. It “opened the door that I thought would never get opened.”
Now there’s an effort underway to bring that possibility to other Holocaust survivors and their children.
The New York-based Center for Jewish History is launching the DNA Reunion Project, offering DNA testing kits for free through an application on its website. For those who use the kits it is also offering a chance to get some guidance on next steps from the genealogists who worked with Young.
Those genealogists, Jennifer Mendelsohn…
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