If you were passing by or through Liverpool Street Station on Wednesday 10 January, you may have seen an old lady sat in a living room-like space, offering to tell her story about life in a concentration camp.
It was 88-year old Lily Ebert, who knew the horrors and “hell” of Auschwitz-Birkenau well, but whose first 14 years were spent growing up happily in a middle class family in Bonyhád, Hungary. Afterwards, she built a life in Britain, “one of three lives” she considers herself to have had.
Commuters young and old, British and foreign, stopped to hear Lily’s story at the start of 2018, which is the 80th anniversary year of the Kindertransport, an initiative by which so many young European Jewish children passed through the iconic station. 2018 also marks 30 years since the Holocaust Education Trust was born.
Travellers heard how, in 1944, Lily’s life changed when she, her mother, younger brother and three sisters were deported to the Nazis’ most infamous camp.
— H.E.T. (@HolocaustUK) January 10, 2018
Lily’s mother Nina, younger brother Bela, and younger sister Berta were immediately sent to the gas chambers whilst Lily and her sisters Renee and Piri were selected for work in the camp. Four months later, they were transferred to a munition factory near Leipzig, which Allied forces liberated in 1945.
After she was liberated, Lily travelled with her surviving sisters to Switzerland and in 1953 was reunited with her older brother who had survived the Nazi camps. The family then moved to Israel, and in 1967 Lily and her husband moved to England.
“It means so much to me that I am able to work with HET to make sure that young people know what happened,” she said. “Young people are the future and I ask them one thing: be kinder to each other.”
HET chief executive Karen Pollock said: “Whilst we can, let’s value these precious eyewitnesses. Sadly there will be a time when they are no longer with us.”
- For members of the public that missed Lily Ebert’s story, the Holocaust Educational Trust is hosting a live webcast with fellow Holocaust survivor Janine Webber. You can Join in at 10am on Friday 26th January ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January) to watch her testimony – to register, please visit www.het.org.uk/survivor-