Lost and found in Lithuania

Mrs Lev (centre) and visitors

Mrs Lev (centre) and visitors

Suzanne Neville and her second cousin Irene Collins had an emotional surprise when participating in Jewish Care Scotland's Latvia and Lithuania heritage trek.

Mrs Neville, the Jewish Care Scotland chief executive, brought along a letter she had received 10 years earlier from a Lithuanian relative, Shulamit Lev. She and Mrs Collins showed it to their guide on the off chance he might know something about her.

To their amazement, not only did he know her but said he would phone her - she's a social worker for Vilna Jewry.

The next day Mrs Lev turned up at the group's hotel and, with the aid of a translator, told her rediscovered relatives the harrowing story of how she survived the Holocaust as a baby - smuggled out of the ghetto and eventually placed in a Catholic orphanage.

Mrs Collins, originally from Scotland but now living in Israel, observed that "most people are lucky to find a gravestone with a name they recognise. To meet someone who is actually related to you is very moving. We hope she'll stay in touch."

Mrs Collins believes Mrs Lev may have a closer branch of the family in London and hopes to help her track it down.

    Last updated: 11:02am, May 27 2011