Norbert Alexiou grew up in Germany with his parents and three siblings in a middle-class environment. When he was 16, his mother Hedi, who was suffering from cancer, revealed to him a long-kept secret that would change his life forever: her husband was not his father, but rather the American soldier Theodore R. Moore, who was shipped back to the U.S. shortly after Norbert's birth. In order to not embarrass the family, Hedi agreed to keep Norbert's true parentage a secret and to destroy all records. Norbert was stunned and confused at learning this. Still afraid of repercussions from her family, Hedi demanded that Norbert never tell anyone.


Norbert kept his word until he was 30. But then the need to find the missing part of his identity became so strong that he began to research. Sketchy information from his mother, lack of support from the U.S. military and government bureaucracy all did their parts in hindering the search for his father Theodore. Norbert also feared that, due to his probable age, he would no longer find his father alive. Four years of fruitless research did nothing to curb Norbert's determination. He decided to fly to the U.S. and continue the search there.

HOME    |    FILM   |    ORGANIZATION    |    DONATIONS    |    PRESS    |    SUPPORTERS    |    CONTACT     HOME.ENG.htmlFILM.htmlORGANIZATION.htmlDonations.htmlPRESS.htmlSUPPORTERS.htmlCONTACT.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3shapeimage_1_link_4shapeimage_1_link_5shapeimage_1_link_6
    ▸ History    ▸ Norbert’s Story    ▸ Search Service    ▸ Search Tips    ▸ Literature    ▸ Board of Directors History.htmlSearchService.htmlSearchTips.htmlLiterature.htmlBoardOfDirectors.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2shapeimage_2_link_3shapeimage_2_link_4shapeimage_2_link_5

In the United States, Norbert found an incredible amount of support from individuals, lawyers and organizations. Two further years of research ensued, during which he repeatedly encountered the same obstacles: government agencies, laws and data privacy regulations. Norbert became desperate; his last remaining hope was a private detective. After a year, the detective gave up and referred Norbert to a colleague, Dick Bielen, a specialist for military issues in St. Louis, Missouri. Bielen has access to the St. Louis military archives where he found an address for Theodore R. Moore. After eight long years of searching, Norbert finally met his father in August 1999 in Texas.


From the first moment on, father and son sensed a deep bond. Through a series of exhaustive talks, Norbert and his father got to know each other, filled in the informational gaps and shared stories from their respective pasts. Norbert learned that his father had also tried to find him, and met his two American half-brothers. Theodore explained why he kept the existence of his German child a secret. At a family gathering, over forty completely unprepared close relatives warmly accepted Norbert as a new family member. His dream had come true.


After getting to know the new family, Norbert decided it is time to bring his father on a return visit to Germany and to reintroduce his parents. He needed to see the two of them together and to confront the last remaining questions about their relationship and the events that shaped his life. Norbert also decided to use his skills as a filmmaker to make a documentary to help him better understand his own life’s journey.

Norbert and Ted head to Germany and the reunion with Hedi. Both men are anxious, as is Hedi. The reunion is joyful but the trip down memory lane is haunted by the unexorcised ghosts of the past that Norbert and his parents must deal with to move forward. Norbert travels to the house of his birth and the place where his parents first met as he learns the truth about his parent’s relationship, the circumstances of his father’s departure and his treatment at the hands of his stepfather Werner Arnold. His parent’s incomplete and sometimes contradictory answers to his painful questions leave him vaguely unsatisfied but he moves towards acceptance.


Norbert returns home and takes a final trip in his journey of self-discovery. He travels to the National Personnel Records Center, the massive military archive where he had started his search some 13 years earlier. Here he hopes to learn more about how his father’s record was found and how to help other GI children avoid his difficult search. He is shocked to find no record of his earlier correspondence and that the information he had provided should have sufficed to locate his father in less than an hour.

As Norbert mulls over his search, finding his father, the trip to Germany and this final piece of information, he realizes that this process of finding yourself is never ending. He is able to make peace with himself and his parents and close this chapter of his life, confident that his new found understanding of his past will help him lay the foundation for his future.

REUNITING GI-KIDS AND THEIR FATHERS