Tuesday, January 31st | 9 Shevat 5783

January 2, 2023 1:20 pm

Holocaust Survivor Included in King Charles’ First New Years Honors List After Celebrating 99th Birthday


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert. Photo: Matti Zoman

Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp survivor and published author Lily Ebert received one of Britain’s highest honors Friday by being included in King Charles III’s 2023 New Years Honors List.

Ebert, who turned 99 years old on Dec. 29, was recognized as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her contributions to Holocaust education.

The London resident was born in Bonyhád, Hungary, in 1923. In July 1944, she was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp and then transferred to an ammunition factory in Germany where she worked until she was liberated. She now has three children, 10 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren.

She said in a statement shared on Twitter by her grandson, Dov Forman, that she feels the “upmost honor and privilege” to be awarded an MBE from Prince Charles III.

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“After losing my mother, youngest sister and youngest brother in Auschwitz, I could not even imagine myself surviving,” Ebert explained. “I was 20 years old. I am now 99 years old, and accepting an award from The King. It feels like a dream — everyday I have to remind myself that this is my reality, and how extraordinarily lucky I am to be here.”

In 2021, Ebert, started a TikTok account with Forman to educate the public about the Holocaust and her page now has almost 2 million followers. That same year she co-authored her memoir “Lily’s Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live,” which has a foreword by King Charles III. Ebert said in her statement that she feels a duty, along with many other Holocaust survivors, to teach others about the horrors of the Holocaust “and ensure that the past is never repeated.”

“Working with my great grandson Dov over the past few years to educate the world about my story, both through social media and Lily’s Promise, has been so special,” she added. “I promised myself in Auschwitz that if I survived, I would tell my story to the world. I feel that this promise is being fulfilled. There is still, however, a long way for us to go.”

Others from the Jewish community who were included in King Charles III’s list include British television presenter Rachel Riley, who has been made an MBE for her Holocaust campaign work, and Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Ephraim Mirvis, who was named Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the Jewish community, interfaith relations and education. President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Marie van der Zyl, British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons, and Member of Parliament Julian Lewis were also included in the honors list, which has a total of 1,107 recipients – 50 percent of whom are women.

The 2023 list is the first published since Queen Elizabeth II’s death and the first to be signed off by her son.

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