Lily Ebert and Dov Forman
Lily Ebert BEM:
Lily was born in Bonyhád, Hungary, in 1923. She was the oldest of six siblings, where she lived a happy life in a loving family. Soon after the German invasion of Hungary in March 1944, Jews in her town were rounded up and herded into ghettoes.
Lily, along with her mother and younger siblings, were later transported in a cattle truck to Auschwitz concentration camp. On arrival, Lily’s mother, her sister and younger brother were selected by Dr Mengele to be gassed and cremated. Lily and her sisters, Renee and Piri, were selected for work. She never saw her mother or her younger siblings again.
After a hellish period in the camp, Lily and her sisters were transported to work as slave labourers in a munitions factory near Leipzig where they managed to survive until the end of the war. They were liberated by Allied troops while they were on a death march and were transferred to Buchenwald Concentration Camp in the American zone of occupation. Lily and her sisters were then taken by train to Switzerland before making their way by ship to Palestine (as it was then).
In Israel, Lily married Samuel and had three children. In 1967 she moved with her family to London. Lily’s husband passed away in 1985 and since then Lily has devoted herself to teaching about the Holocaust in Schools, in Churches and in many other organisations. She is a founder member of the Holocaust Survivors Centre and in 2015 was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Holocaust education and and MBE in 2023. Her memoir, written with her great-grandson, Dov Forman, was a Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and paperback and a New York Times bestseller.
Dov, who is currently studying History, Economics and Modern Hebrew for his A-Levels, has always had an interest in history and has grown up listening to the testimony of his great-grandmother, Lily Ebert about surviving the Holocaust. Over the first UK lockdown, he decided to dedicate his time to finding out as much as possible about her experience as a survivor of the Hungarian ghettoes, Auschwitz concentration camp, Nazi-enforced slave labour and the Death March.
He created a Twitter page to share Lily’s testimony which has had over 10 million views, to date, and has even managed to track down the family of the US soldier who liberated Lily from the death march. He worked with his great-grandmother, Lily Ebert, on her memoir, which was an instant bestseller in the UK, US and Holland.'
Twitter - @DovForman
Instagram - @dovforman
Represented by: Diana Beaumont
Lily's Promise (Macmillan, 2021)