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World War II Survivors Reunited Thanks to Google Books

Nonfiction writer James H. Keeffe, III authored a guest piece for Inside Google Books titled “A 67-year reunion of wartime survivors, inspired by Google Books.” Keefe’s book, Two Gold Coins and a Prayer: The Epic Journey of a World War II Bomber Pilot and POW, recounts his father’s (James H. Keeffe, II) military service experiences.

At one point, Keefe’s father was compelled to hide with a Jewish family in the attic of a kindly Dutch doctor; the family consisted of a mom, dad and nine year-old little girl. After Keefe’s distributor listed the title on Google Books, Helen Cohen-Berman found it from searching on Google and then got in touch with Keefe; she revealed herself to be that daughter who shared the attic space with Keeffe’s father six decades ago.

Here’s more from the piece: “Six months after Helen’s email to me, after much planning, Helen flew to Seattle and was reunited with my father on September 13, 2011. Sixty-seven years had passed since last they saw each other. It was a very moving experience—all possible because of Google Books. I was greatly honored to have been able to bring my father and Helen together again. Helen said the reunion was a ‘closing of a circle’ and a healing time for her as she was finally able to talk about some of the events she had endured. For my father, the reunion was a joyful occasion.”

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