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Zelig Cotel and Sarah Spanover Cotel emigrated from the Jewish shtetl of Mizocz in 1908, making a new life in Chicago. The families they left behind struggled as their hometown passed from Tzarist control, through the Russian revolution and World War I, became part of interwar Poland and struggled through the Depression. The entire family perished in the Holocaust. It was far too painful for Sarah and Zelig to speak of their lost families, and their memories and family history died with them, until a long-lost cache of family letters were translated almost 80 years after the Holocaust.