Our family story is a bit complicated. My grandfather and grandmother, Bracha, rest her soul, and Yosef Arami, immigrated to Israel in 1949, at first living in a stone sheep's pen near Jerusalem, and in 1951 moved to Beit Dagan.
They had 13 children, 7 of which went missing, and they were told that they had died. My grandfather and grandmother believed that some of the children had indeed died, because they were born prematurely, but they never received a death certificate, an indication of a grave or a body to bury in any of these cases. (Grandmother never believed that they had all died and before her death asked the children).
Two of the missing children received a draft order and a visit from the military police who searched for them in the family home. In addition, they were mailed voting ballots and other documents which suggested they were alive. Accordingly, my aunt Gila filed a complaint with the last Investigation Committee with respect to two of the children: Daniel and Bruria.
In reading the documents, it appears that 4 of the children are mentioned. There are many contradictions between the documents.
A notable example comes up in the Investigation Committee’s summary of Bruria's case. On one page, 3 different dates of death are expressly noted and as you read on, even a fourth date is noted. The doctor’s description in one of the documents suggests that perhaps the family had a pair of twin girls hospitalized in the same WIZO institution for maternal and child care in Tel Aviv.
The documents contain racist descriptions of the girls, such as in Dr. Tetzner’s documents from 1957, which read: “Two of the girls were unusually similar. They both had very dark skin… both, even when they were clean, had a distinct and bad smell emanating from them, which all the caregivers very much felt. They both gave an impression of being abnormal.”
Another letter from the same institution dated June 17, 1955, mentions two sisters hospitalized in the institution, one of them Bruria, and points out that two notices were sent to the parents to visit her and later a notice that she passed away. So we have no idea if they were indeed twins, were hospitalized for two or more years, or whether there were in fact 4 different girls.
Grandmother never believed that they had all died and before her death asked the children