King Charles honours 99 year-old survivor in UK for her role in Holocaust education
JEWISH NEWS — After being named a Member of the Order of the British Empire by King Charles III, a 99-year-old great-grandmother who survived the Holocaust and helped found the UK’s Holocaust Survivor Centre said to the PA news agency, “words cannot explain how much this means to me.”
Lily Ebert was recognised for her contribution to Holocaust education at Windsor Castle on Tuesday after being included in the New Year Honors list — the first overseen by Charles since his ascension to the throne.
With her while she accepted the award was her great-grandson, 19-year-old Dov Forman.
The pair have accrued billions of views on video-sharing platform TikTok in an effort to educate the younger generation on the Holocaust.
“Not so long ago, there were people who wanted to kill me for my religion, and today I received this honour,” Ebert said from Windsor Castle, in a room that celebrates the life of the Jewish Queen Esther.
“Words cannot explain how much this means to me,” she said. “If I made it out of Auschwitz alive, I swore to myself, I would tell the world what had happened to us there: that people were killed for no reason other than their beliefs, because we were believed not to be worthy of life.”
She said that she has always tried to be a positive force in the world and encourage others to “appreciate our differences and learn from each other, and be kind to everyone.”
Never again must we allow such a terrible thing to occur. As long as I am alive I will teach the world to be tolerant,” she added.
She also spoke about the importance of educating people through social media, in particular TikTok.
“I find [educating people through TikTok] very important because the youngsters really want to learn and they should learn,” she said. When I talk about something, it’s not just something I read about or heard about; it’s something I experienced firsthand.
Ebert was freed from Auschwitz 78 years ago at the age of 20, and spent a year in Switzerland before moving in 1946 to Israel, then under British rule in Palestine.
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.
Ebert is now based in north London, and is a mother of three, a grandmother of 10, and became a great-grandmother for the 36th time in 2022.