‘Babies are the best revenge against the Nazis’: Auschwitz survivor, 98, celebrates becomes a great-grandmother for the 35th time

  • Lily Ebert, 98, who lives in North London, has become a great-grandmother of 35
  • She migrated to UK after being liberated by American soldiers in April 1945
  • The survivor has dedicated her life to educating others about the Holocaust  

A Holocaust survivor who spent four months at Auschwitz has celebrated becoming a great-grandmother for the 35th time.  

Lily Ebert, 98, who grew up in Hungary, was liberated by American soldiers in April 1945 when she was 20 and, some 77 years later, says babies are the ‘best revenge against the Nazis’. 

She said: ‘For anybody to achieve this – to be a great-grandmother – is something special, but how much more for me as a Holocaust survivor… it is very special.

‘I never thought I would achieve this. I had to survive first of all and then to achieve this age… (the Nazis) wanted to kill us and we showed (them) that they could not.’ 

Lily Ebert, 98, who spent four months at Auschwitz has celebrated becoming a great-grandmother for the 35th time. Pictured: Lily, with great-grandson Dov Forman as a baby in 2003

After being freed, Ms Ebert spent a year in Switzerland before moving to Palestine-occupied Israel in 1946.

She migrated to the UK in 1967 with her husband, Samuel, and began a life of educating the world about the horrors of the Holocaust.

She is now based in North London, where she is a mother-of-three, grandmother-of-10, and great-grandmother-of-35. 

‘She’s dedicated her whole life to educating others about the Holocaust,’ Dov Forman, who is one of her great-grandsons explained.

‘She would go to different schools, workplaces, organisations, with other survivors… and she would share her testimony. She also was a founding member of the Holocaust Survivor Centre in the UK.’

Lily, who has visited schools and workplaces sharing her testimony of surviving the Nazis, said she ‘promised’ herself to tell her story for future generations. Pictured: Lily, with Dov Forman

Ms Ebert explained that she ‘promised’ herself she would tell her story, saying: ‘I have not heard the story – I was there. I am a witness. I promised myself: as long as I am here, I will tell my story for the future generations.’

In a tweet which has racked up 120,000 likes, 18-year-old Dov praised his great-grandmother.

He wrote: ‘My 98-year-old great-grandmother Lily Ebert, an Auschwitz survivor, has just become a great-grandma for the 35th time.’    

Many commenters were touched by the post and shared their own stories of relatives who’ve birthed a generation after surviving the Holocaust.  

Dov said he has learned a lot from his great-grandmother and he is using social media to tell her story to as many people as possible. Pictured: Lily on her 98th birthday 

A-level student Dov has gained a following of over 1. million on a TikTok account for Ms Ebert and her stories.

He has also co-authored a book with Ms Ebert titled Lily’s Promise, which tells of the life she has built for herself.

‘We’re just trying to tell her story to as many people as possible, both on social media and via our book,’ Dov said. ‘I could sit here for a whole day and explain to you how much I’ve learned from her… she really is the queen of the family.

‘We’re just an incredibly tight family and Lily sits at the top of that, and she just inspires us every day.’

Lily was on one of the last trains carrying Hungarian Jews to enter Auschwitz in 1944, enduring months at Birkenau before being transported to Altenburg, a sub-camp of Buchenwald.

She was born in December 1923 in Bonyhád, a town in southwestern Hungary which at the time had a Jewish population of nearly 7,000.

She first hit headlines in July 2020, after successfully searching for the family of the American soldier who gave her a banknote with a message wishing her ‘good luck and happiness’.

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