A Swiss couple who disappeared from their farm in the Alps during World War II have finally been found, 75 years later, mummified in a glacier.
Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, the parents of seven children, went to milk their cows in a meadow in the Valais canton on Aug. 15, 1942, then vanished without a trace.
“We spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping. We thought that we could give them the funeral they deserved one day,” their youngest daughter, Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, 79, told Le Matin, a newspaper in Lausanne.
“For the funeral, I won’t wear black,” she added. “I think that white would be more appropriate. It represents hope, which I never lost.”
“I can say that after 75 years of waiting this news gives me a deep sense of calm,” added the 79-year-old.
A worker on the Tsanfleuron glacier in Switzerland found the bodies of Francine and her husband, laid side by side near a ski lift above Les Diablerets resort at an altitude of 2,615 metres (8,600 feet).
“It was the first time my mother went with him on such an excursion,” their youngest daughter Marceline Udry-Dumoulin told the Lausanne daily Le Matin.
“She was always pregnant and couldn’t climb in the difficult conditions of a glacier.
“After a while, we children were separated and placed in families. I was lucky to stay with my aunt,” she said. “We all lived in the region but became strangers.”
Marcelin was just four when she was orphaned. She said village teams searched for the couple but eventually these were also called off as people realised the pair were not coming back.
The couple, who had five sons and two daughters, had gone to milk their cows in a meadow above Chandolin in the Valais canton in Switzerland on August 15, 1942, when they went missing.
Marcelin Dumoulin, 40, was a shoemaker, while Francine, 37, was a teacher.
Marceline said during the time their parents were missing one of her brothers became a priest and they held a mass for them on the glacier in 1957.
But now they will be able to pay tribute properly.
“We spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping. We thought that we could give them the funeral they deserved one day,” said Marceline.
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