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Return to Estonia

August 16, 1992

In 1945, when I was 18 months old, my mother escaped with me from Estonia, to Germany. Through the circumstances of war, we were separated. I ended up in the U.S. and was adopted.

After 40 years of searching, my mother (now in Poland) located me with the assistance of the International Red Cross. In 1987, I traveled to meet her and learned of my relatives in Estonia. In 1989, after much bureaucratic nonsense, I set foot on the land of my birth and met the family I never knew existed: aunts, cousins, second and third cousins and some folks I'm not sure I'm even related to. It was wonderful. I saw Tallinn, the university town of Tartu and small villages, not much changed during the past 900 years.

The Estonians are very educated, polite, kind and welcoming. If you have the chance to visit, go. They are rebuilding slowly and love Americans. It will be a real education and a wonderful experience you will never forget.

BONNI VON-HINKEL

Glendale

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