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An Illicit Love Affair During the Third Reich: Who is My Grandfather?

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More than 60 years after an illicit love affair had occurred between Erika H, wife of a Wehrmacht soldier, and a Polish slave worker during World War II, we could clarify the blood relationships of her daughter Uta. When Erika H had become pregnant both of the men could have fathered the child. Erika H was found guilty of fraternization and imprisoned at Ravensbrück concentration camp. She gave birth to Uta and died there in 1944. Uta survived the war as did Erika’s husband Gustav, who accepted Uta as his child. Blood samples from family members were taken and DNA extracted. A panel of 16 short tandem repeat (STR) loci were amplified and separated by capillary electrophoresis and the likelihoods calculated using the MLINK software. The combined genotypes yielded a cumulative likelihood ratio of over 200,000 against paternity of Gustav H. This case serves to illustrate the utility of STR profiles for complex deficiency kinship analysis.
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Keywords: DNA typing; deficiency case; forensic science; paternity testing; slave worker

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie, Zentrum für Bioanalytik, Klinikum Bremen Mitte gGmbH, 28177 Bremen, Germany. 2: Institut für Medizinische Informatik und Statistik, Christian-Albrechts Universität, 24105 Kiel, Germany. 3: Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Eppendorf, 22529 Hamburg, Germany. 4: Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, 24105 Kiel, Germany. 5: Fraunhofer Institut für Toxikologie und Experimentelle Medizin, 30625 Hannover, Germany.

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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