Holocaust survivor refuses to meet son

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – The letter brought a bittersweet end to Sol Factor’s 17-year search for his mother, a Holocaust survivor who disappeared in the aftermath of World War II:”We regret to inform you that we located the above mentioned person, but she would not like to be contacted by the inquirer,” reads the message from Magen David Adom, the Israeli counterpart of the American Red Cross

Factor, who had found clues to his past with the help of the Red Cross and a vast archive of Nazi records, knows only that his mother, now 83 years old, is living in Israel.

“Of course I’m disappointed because one likes searches like this to end with happy reunions,” he said in an interview in his home in this Cleveland suburb.

“There’s a sense of actual relief too, because now some of the mystery has been solved,” he said.

Factor, 60, was born Meier Pollak in Munich, Germany, in 1946 to Romanian-born Rosa Pollak, also spelled Polak. He has found documents showing that Rosa Pollak and her newborn son were discharged from a maternity hospital on July 9, 1946, and soon after went to a United Nations-sponsored hospital for refugees in Munich. Within days they became separated.

Factor was adopted in 1950 by an American couple in Belmont, Mass., and began looking for his biological mother in earnest in 1990.

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  1. Jack's Shack May 16, 2007 at 5:59 am

    Sad but true.

  2. benning May 16, 2007 at 1:33 am

    Very sad. Seems the Holocaust continues to collect victims.

  3. Jack's Shack May 15, 2007 at 7:06 am

    It is a hard call. I can certainly see why the son would want to meet her.

    Can’t say why she is reluctant, just speculation really.

  4. Elie May 14, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Leaving out the Holocaust angle, the core issue here is a biological parent who doesn’t want contact with a child she put up for adoption. This is a sad situation but I can understand and empathize with both sides. There are also adoptive parents who are very hurt by their children’s desire to search for their biological parents; I know personally know couples who feel that way. People’s emotional baggage in this situation can be incredibly strong and it is impossible to judge them.

  5. Stacey May 14, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    OMG, I know him. Very well. Our families were very close back when I lived in Ohio. My sister had him for homeroom for 3 years. My mother took care of his children while he and his wife worked. I used to drive to Jr. High with him.

    Such a nice man. Just a lovely man and a GREAT history teacher. I am so sorry to hear about this…I mean, after a lifetime of wondering about his mother, to have the door slammed. How very sad.

  6. tikkunger May 14, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Yeah I read this last week and also thought it was sound on so many levels but like Paula wrote, its understandable.

  7. Paula May 14, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    Sad all the way around. I feel sorry for Sol, but I can understand why his mother might not want to deal with this now, at 83 years of age.

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