This defiant-yet-sweet defiant photo shows Auschwitz surviving great-grandmother Lily Ebert who is celebrating her 99th birthday today. Lily, whose great-grandson Dov Forman shared the image on Twitter, is shown smiling on a beach next to a heart carved into the sand with “99 Lily” written inside. Wrapped up warm against the elements, and in a fetching fur-style hat, Lily beams for the camera in a photograph that is a powerful symbol of endurance against Nazi hatred.
Dov, 19, posted the photograph on his great-grandmother’s birthday and it has been liked more than 53,000 times at the moment of publishing this article. The heart-warming picture is accompanied by an inspiring quote from Lily.
“I never thought I would survive Auschwitz and have another birthday. At 99, I celebrate to show that the Nazis did not win!”
And speaking today Lily said: “I never thought I would survive, and I am here. So learn from this that you should never ever give up hope.”
Dov has co-authored a best-selling book about with his beloved great-grandmother’s incredible life entitled “Lily’s Promise: How I survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live” with a foreword from King Charles III.
Speaking today about Lily’s momentous birthday he told Express.co.uk: “Today my great grandmother, Lily Ebert, an Auschwitz survivor, turns 99!
“We have received thousands of cards, emails and messages online from all across the world, including also celebrities, world leaders and politicians. We can’t thank everyone enough – it means so much to us and even more to Lily.”
The Auschwitz Memorial in Poland shared a message today about Lily. It read: “29 December 1923 | Hungarian Jewish woman Lily Ebert was born in Bonyhád.
“In July 1944 she was deported to #Auschwitz. She was then transferred to an ammunition factory near Leipzig where she was liberated. Today she turns 99. She has 10 grandchildren & 36 great-grandchildren.”
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Jewish community organisation Humans of Judaism also wished Lily well on her birthday. They wrote: “Let’s all wish a Happy 99th Birthday to this incredible Human.
“Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert was born on December 29, 1923. With 1.9 million followers on TikTok, Lily uses the popular app for Holocaust education and sharing her experiences, with the help of her great-grandson Dov.”
Lily and Dov’s exploits can be found on their TikTok channel @lilyebert&dovforman where they detail their relationship and the remarkable and poignant stories Lily has to tell as a survivor of the Holocaust atrocity.
At least 1.3 million people were murdered at the Auschwitz concentration camp, including more than 950,000 Jews. Today remaining survivors of the concentration camps are elderly and first-hand accounts like Lily’s are all the more important.
Speaking to the BBC earlier this year Lily said lessons from history must never be forgotten, she said: “Be tolerant to each other and remember nobody is better or worse than you, we are only different. Appreciate that.”
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