Haifa resident who thought he lost entire family in Holocaust discovers 500 relatives

After a lifetime of believing that his entire family was murdered in the Holocaust, a Haifa resident of Lithuanian descent discovered from a Facebook post from Holocaust Remembrance Day that his family tree is alive and 500-members strong.

Watch Below: A special Kukla Family reunion in London

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71-year-old Alex Kafri from Haifa always dreamed of being part of a large family. He spent his life thinking that apart from his sister, his entire family perished in the Holocaust. However, on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, Kafri saw a post on Facebook that revealed he wasn’t only a part of a family, but part of an entire tribe, consisting of over 500 people. Last week, Kafri met his newly discovered family at a special reunion in London. “I’ve waited for this moment my entire life,” he said in excitement.

Kafri explained that his mother obtained information from Yad Vashem confirming that her family members had died. However, Kafri decided to look into his father’s side, remembering that his father had two brothers who he would visit as a child. "My father never wanted to talk about his family," he said. "None of them had children and we thought that my sister and I were the only ones left."

A decade ago, Alex decided to look for clues about his father’s family’s fate. He began to search for information on various sites, but ran into trouble because his last name was informally changed from Kukla to Kafri once he immigrated to Israel from Lithuania in 1920.

Kafri’s search finally turned up something when he and his family spotted a Facebook post by a man who said that after years of thinking that his family had perished in the Holocaust, MyHeritage connected him to the Kukla family tree. "An optimistic post for Holocaust Remembrance Day (if there is such a thing)," the man wrote in a post, describing how his grandmother immigrated to Israel in 1932. "She told us that she had no family and we understood that no one survived. A few months ago, we discovered that not only was this wrong, but that we had a huge family with many descendants."

Kukla family members met in London Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Kafri commented immediately: "My name is Alexander Kafri of the Kukla family from Kaunas, Lithuania, and I am looking to connect with the family.” A woman immediately responded to the comment: “We thought we had found everyone.” Within a few hours, Kafri received a phone call from the two who manage the family page on the website and confirmed his details. “They shared information about my father's brother and sent me a picture of my grandparent’s wedding,” Kafri said excitedly.

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