A note from liberator Frank Towers:
Hi Matt: Attaching the latest revised list of our Holocaust Survivors. It is almost unbelievable to learn that there are so many of them still surviving – most of course we do not know where.
By my calculation, there were about 425 children on that train. Statistically about half of them are deceased thru malnutrition, disease effects from their incarceration and normal attrition, bringing the total survivors to about 200+. Would you believe that we now have “over 100 names” on this list now, and it continues to grow!!!
I have been in contact with Varda in Israel, and she has been working 24/7 looking for these people, and she has come up with a bunch of them, and most have been verified from my Farsleben Train List.
And a wonderful communication from Israel:
Hello, Matthew,My name is Lily Cohen and I was a little girl who was on that train coming from Bergen-Belsen. My name was Lili Kazimierski-Shein and I was an orphan, probably about 5 or 6 years old. at that time. I don’t know my birth day, or year.I am so moved to find this research, as most of my early life appeared to be “erased” somehow by the Holocaust, and only now am I able to take small steps into what was my past to piece together fragments of memories. I remember the train. I remember the hill, I remember a German soldier running away, and I remember a woman who was trying to take care of me dying at my side.I come to the US and would be very touched to come to a reunion. My life has turned into a really wonderful victory over Hitler’s attempt to obliterate the Jewish race. Tonight I made dinner for 10 people in my home in Tel Aviv – 6 of whom came from me!!!I send gratitude to you,
LilyHow did I hear of you? Varda called me last evening, having found my name in a book by Hilda Hoopert called “Hand In Hand With Tommy.” Since it only mentioned my first name and the kibbutz where I was raised, she called the kibbutz! Amazing how things can come together when there are people dedicated to finding out “the rest of the story.” Thank you for your dedication.Please feel free to quote me on your weblog. It would be an honor, and might even lead me to more pieces of the mosaic of my early life. It would be good to be contacted directly, so you can include my e-mail and even my phone number here in Israel if you like.I would very much like to talk to the other girl whose story is so similar to mine. You are so kind to consider the sensitive nature of our feelings.I do so look forward to meeting you some day soon.Shalom,Lily
Thank you again. Since last Tuesday when I got Varda’s call I am on a different time zone. on one hand I carry on with my life, on the other I can not wait to get on the computer to see if there is anything from you or Frank. For so many years I didn’t talk about my childhood even with my children, deep deep down I had the feeling that something was probably very wrong with me, something you should be ashamed of, if all this happened to me. I have open my mouth only ten years ago to tell my granddaughters. You see, among all the amazing stories that you hear, my story is unbelievable. I don’t think that – at least- in Bergen Belzen it was a child from a very young age of two years old until the age of five or six that was completely alone without anybody from his family, all the other children were with parents, Mum, aunt. I, must thank all the anonymous women who took care of me all that horrible years. I don’t remember their faces but I know they were exist and saved my life.
You are really doing a holy work and I do hope to meet you some day.