The Washington Post has a heartwarming story about two women who were best friends as children in 1938 Germany, when Kristallnacht took place and the Holocaust descended. They fled Germany separately, and, after searching for each other for decades, finally found each other. One lives in New Jersey, the other in Chile.
Every Sunday, Betty Grebenschikoff and Ana María Wahrenberg have a scheduled phone call. They often lose track of time talking, as best friends tend to do.
The weekly calls are only a recent ritual. In fact, just four months ago, both women believed the other had died in the Holocaust.
“For 82 years, I thought my best friend from Germany was dead,” Grebenschikoff said. “I’d been looking for her for all those years, and I never found her.”
That’s right: 82 years! Betty Grebenschikoff and Ana María Wahrenberg are now 91 years old, and they searched for each other for a lifetime. And they found each other, thanks to Stephen Spielberg, but I’ll let you read about that for yourself. It was the merest chance. Now they talk every Sunday in a video call:
When the women heard the other was still alive, they were shocked and delighted in equal measure.
“It was such a miracle,” said Grebenschikoff, who called the unlikely reunion “bashert,” Yiddish for “destiny.”
Grebenschikoff joined the Zoom call on Nov. 19 from her home in St. Petersburg, Fla., while Wahrenberg signed on from Santiago. Right away, they started chatting in German, their shared language.
“It was like no time had passed,” Grebenschikoff said. “Of course, 82 years makes a difference, but more or less, we just picked up where we left off.”
The story will make you tear up: