Jewish survivors of the Holocaust

Ellman, Lilian (1 of 2) Holocaust Survivors Centre Interviews

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  • Subjects

    In hiding

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    Holocaust Survivors Centre Interviews

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home

  • Interviewees

    Ellman, Lilian, 1922- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Goodman, Barbara (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Born Lea Nestel in Komorno, Lvov, Poland, orthodox Jewish family lived with parents and two brothers and sisters. Father Moses Nestel Wermouth, born Rosdol, Poland; Mother Faga Goldberg, born Kororno. Brothers Michael and Yakov, sisters Rifka and Richa with an adopted sister Cerla. Father owned cement factory making roof tiles and drainage pipes. Staff of 30 Ukrainians. Attended Polish Catholic school for girls. Played only at home with Jewish children. Large family (75) on mother’s side, many cousins. Father’s family in Rosdol. Left school at 14 lived with other family in Lemberg and Lvov for a while. 1939, age 17 Germans invaded Poland, parked tanks on grounds of factory on Rosh Hashona. Germans didn’t then know they were Jewis stayed for one months and didn’t disturb them. Russians came and they could be Jews openly again. Used her father as an engineer. Lilian returned to Limberg and stayed with relations (Hansa) worked for Russians with passports; socialised with Zionist organisations and went home on weekends. 1941 Germans returned, she returned to family. Describes round ups of Jewish men who were taken away and shot. Her father was on list but Germans took neighbour instead. Parents hid in house had food stores, and as she looked non-Jewish was sent on errands. Mother and sister taken away, doesn’t know what happened to them. Christian girl Litke Kerner helped her get Polish/Christian papers and went as Polish girl under alias Stanislava Slaba to work in Germany in Saarbrucken. Left all her family who she never saw again and does no know details of what happened to them, possibly Treblinka. Worked in factory in Germany making boxes for hand grenades and steps for tanks. 10 Polish girls lived together, she hid her Jewishness. Stayed for 2 years, never heard from family. December 1944 Americans came to Saarbrucken. She told them she was Jewish and they drove her to Nancy in France. Rented a room and met a Jewish man (Dreihorn) who took her to live with his family. At Passover April 1945, the family invited American and Jewish servicemen to Seder, where she met her husband, Sydney Ellman. He helped trace her two uncles in England Isaac and Joshua Goldberge, mother’s brothers. They helped her when she came to England but she stayed with her mother in law. She was 23. Learned English at Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute, visited uncles; learned there were no more Jews in Poland, never returned to Poland. Reluctant to talk about marriage; had two sons Martin b 1947 Stephen b 1952 who is married and has 2 children Daniel 16 and Laura 14. She works as court interpreter and for Home Office in Ukrainian, Polish and German and is writing a book about her experiences.

  • Related links

    Voices of the Holocaust - link to learning materials based on the moving stories of Jewish Holocaust Survivors on the British Library Website

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