Commuters at Liverpool Street station on Wednesday were given the chance to talk to a Holocaust survivor about her experiences in the war.
Lily Ebert, an 87-year-old survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau, was taking part in the “Hear My Story” initiative, organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust. The charity installed two sofas in the middle of the station, allowing anyone passing by to sit down and hear her tell her story.
Mrs Ebert was 14 when the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944 and transported the country’s 300,000 Jews to the concentration camps. She was sent to Auschwitz with her family, where her mother, younger brother and younger sister were immediately consigned to the gas chambers. She survived the war along with her two older sisters, as well as an older brother, who she was reunited with in 1953. Initially settling to Israel after the war, in 1967 she came to live in the UK. For the past ten years she has worked with HET, educating young people about her experiences.
Mrs Ebert said: “In my lifetime I have had three lives: one from before the Holocaust when I was a young girl in a middle-class family, one during the hell of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and one now since I was liberated and rebuilt my life in England.
"It means so much to me that I am able to work with the Holocaust Educational Trust to make sure that young people know what happened. Young people are the future and I ask them one thing: be kinder to each other. I will never give up speaking and telling my story, but there are not many of us left anymore to do that. I hope the work we have done today will remind the world what happened."
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, described “Hear My Story” as “a chance for everyday London commuters to meet and interact with living history.
“Whilst we can, let’s value these precious eyewitnesses – sadly there will be a time when they are no longer with us,” she said.
“It may have happened over 70 years ago, but the history of the Holocaust is just as relevant today.”