Tributes have been paid to a “remarkable” Holocaust survivor who has passed away this week.
Lili Pohlmann, alongside her mother, was the only survivor in her extended family of more than 300.
She was born Lili Stern in 1930 in Lvov, then in Poland, where she had a happy upbringing until the outbreak of war.
Lili’s family were confined to the Lvov Ghetto – and her life was only saved thanks to the courage of two non-Jews, Irmgard Wieth and Orthodox Archbishop Andrey Count Sheptytsky.
Weith was a German civil servant attached to the occupying forces in Lvov who sheltered Lili and her mother, while Archbishop Sheptytsky arranged for Lili and her mother to hide in a convent.
“Lili Pohlman was one of a kind. She had an infectious energy, warm smile and a wonderful sense of humour,” said Karen Pollock, CEO of the Holocaust Educational Trust.
“As one of only two survivors of an extended family of over 300, she dedicated her life to sharing her story. Lili worked hard to honour those people who took unspeakable risks to save others, the Righteous Among the Nations, two of whom she owed her life to.”
Lili later arrived in London in 1946 on a transport organised by the British rabbi, Dr Solomon Schonfeld. A year later Lili was joined in the UK by her mother.
She dedicated much of her life to building bridges between the Polish – Jewish communities and was given one of Poland’s highest accolades, The Commander’s Cross of Polonia Restituta.
She was also awarded an MBE for her tireless work.
“As well as having a truly remarkable story of survival, Lili was an engaging and passionate speaker and educator on the Holocaust who I personally had the privilege of hearing on several occasions,” said Michael Newman of the Association of Jewish Refugees.
“She narrated her story with such fluidity and precise recall of events that she made for compelling listening.”
Her funeral is being held on Sunday, 19 September at Hoop Lane Cemetery in Golders Green.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.