Nazi soldiers seized the baby Marija and her mother, Solomeja, on March 13, 1944 as reprisal for the father Broņislavs Platačs' partisan activities in Latgale, Latvia. Soldiers took mother and child as political prisoners to Rēzekne Prison and Salaspils concentration camp. Solomeja was sent to German concentration camps; Marija was taken to orphanages in Latvia and Germany. In 1949 Marija was flown to America, adopted by American parents, and became a US citizen. For 70 years her origins were unknown to her due to the Soviet occupation of her native Latvia. A “family detective” in Riga unlocked the story about her parents in 2014, enabling Marija to be reunited with the one surviving member of her father’s family, Broņislavs' sister, Leonora. The discovery process opened Marija’s eyes to her identity, true to her family name Platačs, which means wide eyes.