Success of the GRC child tracing service
While her biological mother was at work, Edith Elfriede Öller was abducted by German soldiers from her kindergarten in Pressburg, now Bratislava/Slovakia, in 1945 as a four-year-old child to protect her from the approaching Soviet troops.
Together with many other German infants, she was transported in a cattle car to the children’s camp Bischofswerda in Saxony. From there, she was later placed with a foster family. The little girl was assessed one year younger than she actually was and the foster parents rechristened her “Ursula”.
She never again had contact with her biological parents. Today, Elfi (78) knows from her rediscovered family in Bratislava that her “real mummy” searched for her for a long time, even putting herself in great danger once in Prague. But her mother Greta never found her lost daughter.
The GRC Tracing Service was able to find information about her true origins, enabling Elfi to regain her original name and her actual date of birth (June 14, 1942). And finally even three biological cousins, a half-brother as well as “Babka”, a sister-in-law of her mother. They all still live in Bratislava today and are very happy that their Elfi has been found.
And although Elfriede Barthel is an accomplished woman with grown-up children and grandchildren of her own, who can proudly look back on a long and fulfilling professional life as head of several orphanages in the former GDR, she is still overwhelmed to finally have her new/old identity back.