Thanks to the archives of the Tyrolean State Archives, three sisters were recently able to embrace each other in Tyrol after 76 years of separation.
Heide Kausek-Kaminski, Cornelia Macrina and Beate Baker at their reunion (from left).
Innsbruck – One imagines the work of an archivist soberly. But a week ago a wave of emotion surged through the Tyrolean State Archives: Two 80-year-olds met their 76-year-old half-sister for the first time – after 76 years. Archivist Meinhard Eiter tells how he and his colleague Martin Ager made the meeting possible based on their research. “We received an email from Beate Baker in Los Angeles, telling us whether we had any information about her half-sister Cornelia Kausek.”
Beate Baker, born as Kausek in Innsbruck, emigrated to the USA at the age of 22, her twin sister Heide to Spain. She comes from the second relationship of her mother Hildegard Kausek, her first husband in the war field. The two daughters from their first marriage have died, the twins could still meet them. Hildegard Kausek was not lucky in love affairs, and the twins’ father did not return home from the war either. In 1945 the mother fell in love again, Cornelia, who emerged from the liaison, gave the single parent up for adoption. Hildegard Kausek never spoke about this painful step. Baker had cradled the baby when he was four. “I’ve been thinking forever how to find her,” Baker wrote in her first email.
Complex family situation
“The family situation was very complex, but we knew that the half-sister Cornelia was adopted by South Tyroleans,” says Eiter. They are optants who later returned to South Tyrol. Cornelia Kausek worked for years as a teacher in North Tyrol. She now lives in South Tyrol as Cornelia Macrina. “Her husband was a carabiniere at the Brenner, they fell in love at passport control,” says the archivist. Ultimately, Cornelia Macrina was also found with the help of the South Tyrolean Provincial Archives and the connection to the twins was established.
“The 80-year-olds are very sprightly, one from northern Spain, the other from the USA. Everyone met at our regional archive, ”said Eiter. The women were overwhelmed. Plans have been made for the future: a big family reunion is about to take place. A hall will be necessary: Heide Kausek-Kaminski (Spain) has four children and seven grandchildren, Baker (USA) three children and four grandchildren, Cornelia Macrina from South Tyrol has two children and six grandchildren.
Communication shouldn’t be a problem. The word for feeling, which you are used to when you meet again, sounds similar in all languages: emotion, emoción, emozione. (pla)