Separated by the Holocaust: Miliband Meets Long-lost Aunt on Israel Visit

While visiting Yad Vashem, the U.K. Labor party chief presented with new research about his grandfather, who is believed to have died in Auschwitz.

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Ed Miliband with Hebrew University students.Credit: Emil Salmond

Visiting U.K. Labor Party leader Ed Miliband had an emotional Friday night meal with his aunt and other relatives on Kibbutz Nachshonim on Friday night, the Daily Mail reported.

The aunt, Sarah Ben Zvi, is the first cousin of Miliband's mother Marion. The two grew up together in the Polish town of Czestochowa before World War II.

The Labor leader, who visited the kibbutz with his wife Justine, last saw his aunt when he was just seven-years-old.

Life in Czestochowa changed forever when the Nazis invaded in September 1939. They commandeered Marion's parents' steel factory, which employed dozens of people, and torched Jewish schools and synagogues. Then, in 1942, the deportations began.

Miliband's mother, his mother's sister and grandmother fled the village and were sheltered by nuns in a convent - at a location she has never revealed. They managed to survive the war due to the protection of the nuns.

Ben Zvi, now 84, was among the thousands who were deported to the camps. Only a teenager at the time, she survived the camps and came to Palestine after the war, where she was briefly reunited with Miliband's mother.

In 1947, Marion made her way to London, where she attended the London School of Economics. There, she met his father Ralph, who served in the Royal Navy during the war after fleeing Nazi-occupied Belgium with his father Sam.

Miliband's paternal grandmother, Renee, remained in Brussels to look after her young daughter, Nan. She eventually fled the city in 1942, after being interrogated by the Gestapo on the whereabouts of her husband and son, and was taken in by a family friends. She spent the rest of the war on their farm.

More than 60 members of Miliband's family are believed to have died in the Holocaust. While visiting Yad Vashem on Thursday, the Labor leader was presented with new research about Marion's father, who is believed to have died in Auschwitz.