Italian woman reunited with daughter taken away during WWII | News | DW | 10.08.2015
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Italian woman reunited with daughter taken away during WWII

A 92-year-old Italian has met her daughter, fathered by a married German soldier, after more than 70 years of separation. The daughter, Margot Bachmann, has said she was forbidden from asking about her mother.

An elderly Italian woman has been reunited with her daughter after she was taken away 71 years ago, the Italian press reported on Monday. The 92-year-old, who hails from the town of Novellara in northern Italy, had gone to work in Germany during World War II and was forced to give up her daughter, Margot Bachmann, by the family of the baby's father - a married German soldier.

According to "La Repubblica" newspaper, Bachmann, a German citizen, was told by her father that her mother was Italian, but that she had been killed in the war and was forbidden from looking for her or questioning her father further on the matter.

It was only when her father passed away last year that Bachmann went to the International Tracing Services (ITS) in the German town of Bad Arolsen, a center for documentation and research on Nazi persecution, that the now 71-year-old discovered that her mother was still alive.

Working together with the Italian Red Cross's "Restoring Family Links" initiative, ITS was able to discover her mother's location and the two were reunited over the weekend.

"I started researching, hoping to learn more," La Repubblica quoted her as saying to Italian press agency ANSA, "but I never imagined that one day I would be able to hug my mother. I am so happy to have found her alive and in good form despite her age."

"Today we have witnessed a small miracle," said Red Cross spokeswoman Laura Bastianetto according to the Italian daily, "it is not usual for a mother and daughter to find each other across the distance of 70 years."

"Thanks to a joint effort over the last couple of years, we could witness this moving embrace," said Bastianetto.

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