Survivor in NYC Gets Family Photos She’s Never Seen, Thanks to Stranger at Google – NBC New York

Survivor in NYC Gets Family Photos She’s Never Seen, Thanks to Stranger at Google – NBC New York

Of the six million Jewish individuals killed in the Holocaust, there are lots of whose names are nonetheless unknown. However one survivor residing in New York Metropolis was in a position to assist fill in a number of the blanks — thanks to a stranger who works for Google.

She was robbed of her childhood, and many of the reminiscences related to it. Her mom and siblings had been killed by the Nazis, however 86-year-old Blanche Fixler survived the Holocaust.

Then, a number of months in the past, a stranger known as.

Daniel Patt, a software program engineer for Google, runs a undertaking known as From Numbers to Names, which makes use of synthetic intelligence to establish faces in a set of 500,000 photographs from museums like Yad Vashem in Israel and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C.

When he uploaded a photograph he discovered on Twitter, he found two matches of Blanche that she had by no means seen earlier than. Not solely was this information to her, nevertheless it was a unique form of first for Patt as nicely.

“Blanche is the first survivor we had a match for, where the survivor is still with us,” mentioned Patt.

So, he flew throughout the nation and hand-delivered them to her house in Kew Gardens, Queens.

“It brings back a lot of memories,” mentioned Fixler, as she was in a position to see the faces of relations, pals and family members she hasn’t seen in a long time. “My aunt, Rabbi Minsh, Rutka and Moshe.”

By way of the photographs, she was in a position to have a reunion of types — 80 years in the making.

“When he brought this, I said oh my gosh, how do you have picture like this?” Fixler mentioned.

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“I think, in the moment, Blanche was just kind of going back in time in a way,” mentioned Patt. “I’d say it was a little bit of a time travel experience.”

After hiding from the Nazis in Poland, Fixler managed to escape.

“That little girl went through hell,” she mentioned. “We could not step out of the house or else we were hit with a bullet right away.”

She ultimately landed at a French orphanage, the place a number of the photographs had been taken. Fixler was in a position to establish half a dozen individuals who had been beforehand unknown.

The photographs sparked a reminiscence of a tune she used to sing as a toddler, which was music to Patt’s ears: His grandparents are survivors too. The undertaking is deeply private for him, as he tries to put names to faces — whilst reminiscences of the horrors of the Holocaust shortly fade from residing reminiscence.

“A picture is a real thing…if something is real, you can not deny it,” mentioned Fixler.

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