Zehava and Yechi’el Cohen Ratzon

In 1950 my aunt Mazal Cohen was abducted. Our grandmother ran all over the country to find her and when they realized that she would not give up, grandmother managed to locate her. She already spoke a little bit of Yiddish. Today she lives in Petach Tikva. A few years later the son Michael was abducted.

Mazal had an operation in the stomach at Hadassah Hospital Tel Aviv and then disappeared. After many efforts and three months or more, grandmother went through a lot of places and at the end came to Hadassah Jerusalem. This story I am telling is a story I heard from grandmother in my childhood: “They saw I am not giving up, I came to Jerusalem and sat at the reception, they brought a girl to me and said that’s my daughter, I gave her candy, spoke with her a little bit. But I knew she was not Mazal, who had fairer skin. After a while I came back to the nurse and said to her that was not Mazal. They told me go home... Destiny had it that a man who appeared to be a cleaner told me to go up two stories.” And there it so happened that she discovered Mazal. Mazal did not really want to come to her, but after the commotion grandmother made everything was all right (Mazal had a small birth mark on her stomach to my memory and she spoke a little Yiddish).

In 1955 my uncle Michael Cohen was abducted while my grandmother was recovering from the birth of my father. Michael did not feel well, was taken by my grandfather to the hospital and the next day, when he returned, they told him the child had died. Until this day the place of his burial is not known. When my grandfather returned to explain the situation to my grandmother he tried to convince her that that’s the “truth” - but the truth is known to everyone and to repeat a journey of years of searching was already very hard.

My aunt tells me that last time she asked her a few too many questions, my grandmother immediately screamed: “You bring me Michael”. My heart ached.

Yossi Cohen