Lily Ebert, 98, was surrounded by her family as she was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit on Tuesday for her work on educating people about the Holocaust (@DovForman/PA)
One of the UK’s last living Auschwitz survivors has been presented with a national honour from Hungary at the country’s embassy in London.
Lily Ebert, 98, was surrounded by her family as she was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit on Tuesday for her work on educating people about the Holocaust – including being a founding member of the UK’s Holocaust Survivor Centre.
The medal celebrated the life of Ms Ebert, who grew up in Hungary and spent four months at Auschwitz before her liberation by American soldiers in April 1945.
“I am so honoured and touched to receive this award,” Ms Ebert said in her speech at the award ceremony.
Hungarian ambassador to the UK Ferenc Kumin said the ceremony was ‘the most moving’ he has ever experienced (@DovForman/PA)
“When I was in the hell of Auschwitz I promised myself, if I survived against all the odds, I would do all I can to share my story, for myself and for those that did not survive. And I do.
“I am a witness.
“I am so pleased to be standing here today and to know that my story is being recognised and heard.”
Ms Ebert was freed from Auschwitz at the age of 20, 77 years ago, and spent a year in Switzerland before moving to Palestine-occupied Israel in 1946.
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.
She is now based in north London, and is a mother of three, a grandmother of 10, and became a great-grandmother for the 35th time in January this year.
Ms Ebert was joined at the award ceremony by 10 of her great-grandchildren, three grandchildren, and one daughter.
“It was absolutely incredible to see how accommodating the Hungarian embassy were and how nice they were, and how really proud Lily was,” one of Lily’s great-grandchildren, Dov Forman, told the PA news agency.
It's been the most moving award ceremony I've ever experienced. https://t.co/gH5CwhOIVe