Not every survivor wants to be found

Holocaust survivor found, refuses to meet his [sic] son

BEACHWOOD, Ohio (AP) — 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.


Speculating on a possible reason why his mother didn’t want to meet him, he said: ”Many survivors, they want to put the past behind and not have it brought back to them.”

He also wonders if perhaps she was an unwed mother.

“It is very possible that this is a very, shall we say, embarrassing, traumatic chapter in her life,” said Factor.



Story Published: May 12, 2007 at 12:02 PM PDT
Story Updated: May 12, 2007 at 3:18 PM PDT
By Associated Press