Mother reunited with kidnapped daughter after 40 years
“Today was the biggest and most beautiful day in my life.”

A 78-year-old Austrian woman whose daughter was kidnapped by her migrant husband 40 years ago was recently reunited with her daughter and met her grandchild for the first time.

Four decades ago Helma Pavaletz’s husband broke off their marriage, kidnapped their two daughters and took them to Turkey, the land of his birth.

It was only recently, after their father had died, that the daughters found out their mother was still alive and well.

Manuela Gurbeli (47) and her eight-year-old daughter flew from Turkey to Salzburg in Austria to be reunited with her mother after she’d been kidnapped at the age of seven.

Helma was ecstatic when she caught a glimpse of her long-lost daughter, whom she thought she’d never see again – her ex-husband broke off all contact after he went to Turkey.

“Today was the biggest and most beautiful day in my life,” Manuela said.

Even though the two couldn’t really understand each other because Manuela doesn’t speak German, the family bond was still strong.

“I’m very happy to see my mother again after so many years,” she said. “I didn’t know her. I simply feel good after all this time.”

An overjoyed Helma explained her relationship with her husband had gone sour after he’d started beating her. She took her kids and tried to hide at a farmstead, but he managed to find them and kidnapped the children.

“That was terrible – when you go somewhere with your kids and suddenly someone comes and takes them away,” Helma said.

“That was a disaster. He had his helpers, and they almost killed me.”

Manuela says she only wants to look to the future and hopes to be able to visit her mom frequently.

Source: Magazine Features

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