Man who survived the Holocaust is finally reunited with the family that saved his life

The Holocaust is likely one of the darkest durations in world historical past, with hundreds of thousands of lives misplaced, and painful recollections haunting generations of the households that suffered from it.

Within the aftermath of World Struggle II, victims proceed to try to reconcile themselves with their previous.

That is what 55-year-old Lionel Rossler of Rebeq, Belgium, did for his father David, now 85, who was saved, alongside together with his mom, Haja Sura Zoltak, from Nazi persecution within the battle.

In 1938, David Rossler was born with the surname Langa, however later took on the final identify of his stepfather, a survivor of Auschwitz. David and his household lived in Brussels, Belgium, when the persecution of the Jewish neighborhood started.

MyHeritage | YouTube

They’d transfer round for the following few years to flee the Nazis. Sadly, at one level his father and uncle had been arrested by the Germans and had been by no means seen once more.

Younger David and his mom discovered non permanent refuge in a Catholic convent. On the day it was raided, they had been fortunate sufficient to flee and had been saved by Georges Bourlet and his 4 younger grownup youngsters, Paul, Jacques, Anne-Marie, and Christiane, in Auderghem, Brussels in 1944.

David was simply 5 years previous on the time. Lionel shared, “Due to his heroic motion, Georges was capable of save the lives of my father and grandmother. 9 individuals had been saved due to what he did; my brother, myself and our kids wouldn’t be right here immediately if not for his braveness and kindness.”

David's son Lionel spearheaded the search for the family that saved his father and grandmother.
MyHeritage | YouTube

After the battle, David’s mom remarried, and so they moved to Austria and misplaced contact with the Bourlets.

Lionel, nonetheless, started to seek for the household that saved his father and grandmother, to thank them and protect his father’s expertise for future generations.

For years, the Lionel’s search was unsuccessful, till he turned to social media for assist in January 2022. He posted a message in French on Fb, which said, “I’m on the lookout for the descendants of the Bourlet household… This household was composed of the daddy, two daughters and two sons.”

A vintage photo of the house where Lionel hid.
MyHeritage | YouTube

Marie Cappart, a genealogist and supervisor for in Belgium, seen the message and reached out to Lionel. She mentioned, “Ignoring the put up was not an choice for me. I felt compelled to assist. Plus, I like a great analysis problem!”

Utilizing MyHeritage’s on-line archive of 16 billion data, Marie tracked down one among Bourlet’s grandsons and different descendants.

Lionel recalled, “After looking data and cross-referencing information, Marie discovered an Anne-Marie Bourlet, born in Auderghem in 1929. She found that this Anne-Marie married somebody with the surname Dedoncker and had 5 youngsters, all of them presumably nonetheless alive.”

The home of Georges Bourlet, the refuge of David and his mother.
MyHeritage | YouTube

“After a bit extra analysis, Marie discovered Xavier, one among Georges Bourlet’s grandsons, and managed to contact him. She discovered that Xavier had heard a bit of about this story, however not a lot,” Lionl added.

Marie was then capable of contact different descendants of Georges Bourlet, together with those who nonetheless owned the household residence the place David and his mom had been saved in Auderghem.

Lionel and Marie steered that they need to all meet, and David ought to return and see the house the place he was stored protected.

Two months after the Fb put up, David and his son Lionel had an emotional reunion with the household of Georges Bourlet on the residence the place the rescue occurred nearly 80 years in the past.

David wept as he recalled his life in the Bourlet home as a child.
MyHeritage | YouTube

Based on Lionel, “It was an extremely emotional day for us. I used to be capable of see, with my very own eyes, the place the place my father was stored protected from the Germans all these years in the past.”

He added, “It’s a end result and a reduction. This fills me with a sense of unbridled pleasure and a really satisfying sense of accomplishment.”

MyHeritage created a YouTube video in French with English subtitles to share the story of the search and the eventual reunion.

David was profoundly grateful for the chance to face within the residence the place he and his mom had been saved, and personally thank the Bourlet household after so a few years.

Georges Bourlet and his chidren saved David and his mother in World War II.
MyHeritage | YouTube

He wept and mentioned, “The truth that I’m alive, the truth that I’ve a household that I’m very, very happy with, very proud of, I might inform him that. It’s due to him.” David added, “If I had Mr. Bourlet in entrance of me, I might need to kiss him.”

It was really the primary time the Bourlet descendants discovered concerning the full story. They had been astonished and assembly the Rosslers helped them to raised admire their grandfather’s life and heroism.

Marie was additionally grateful to play a job within the distinctive reunion. She thought of her efforts as a tribute to her personal grandfather and husband’s grandfather, who had been additionally victims within the battle.

She shared, “It’s humbling and nothing in comparison with the fantastic sacrifice Georges Bourlet made, risking his life to avoid wasting a complete household. It’s a terrific honor to have added a bit of stone to this necessary memorial highway. I’m a giant believer in household historical past being delivered to life via small actions we will do immediately to counterpoint our connection to our previous.”

The Rosslers hope to make a case to Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Heart, to have Georges Bourlet acknowledged and granted the title of “Righteous Among the many Nations.”

The family
MyHeritage | YouTube

Lionel mentioned, “In Jewish custom, there’s a saying that ‘He who saves one life saves all of humanity.’ At present let’s imagine that there are 9 lives right here immediately, due to his actions.”

The entire expertise and the story of the how the Georges Bourlet saved his household has modified Lionel Rossler’s life.

He mentioned, “It has given me a renewed perspective on the significance of this important work of digging into one’s household historical past and reminiscence. That point passes shortly and we shouldn’t push off tasks which are necessary to us.”

“The survivors of the Holocaust will quickly disappear and it’s important to attempt to ensure that they will witness moments like this,” Lionel mentioned additional.

Watch the emotional video under: