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Lily’s Promise

1800. Dov Forman

Dov Forman, aged 17, from London, is the great-grandson of Auschwitz survivor, Lily Ebert, who co-authored her written testimony of the Holocaust and has reached millions of young people on social media, educating them about the horrors of the Holocaust.

Dov Forman with his great-grandmother Lily Ebert, presented with his award by PM Boris Johnson

Dov was separated from his great-grandmother, aged 97, for the first time in his life during the pandemic while she recovered from Coronavirus, and the experience made him determined to record her story for posterity and help future generations understand about the Holocaust and the impact of anti-Semitism. ‘Lily’s Promise’ covers Lily’s experiences growing up in Hungary, her deportation to Auschwitz in 1944 at the age of 20 – which saw the death of her mother and two younger siblings shortly on arrival – and her time in the camp alongside her other two sisters, before its liberation in 1945. As part of the book, Dov tracked down over social media the American GI who handed Lily a banknote with a good luck message, Private Hayman Shulman, and brought her together with his family over a virtual call. ‘Lily’s Promise’ is now a Sunday Times Best Seller with a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales, and Dov is continuing to highlight his great-grandmother’s experiences on his social media platforms to a following of over one million people.

Dov, alongside his great-grandmother Lily, was presented with his award by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a Chanukah Reception held in No 10 Downing Street (pictured above; photo credit – Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street).

In a personal letter to Dov, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Thank you so much for attending the Chanukah reception in Downing Street and for allowing me to meet you and your Great-Grandmother, Lily. Her harrowing story of surviving Auschwitz, liberation and showing me her identification number will stay with me.

“Allow me to offer my own gratitude for keeping your Great-Grandmother’s testimony alive by co-authoring her autobiography, ‘Lily’s Promise’. Without survivors having the courage to tell their stories, we might never understand what she, and millions of others like her, experienced.

“The reach you have with young people on TikTok, with your staggering 1.5 million followers, is vital in helping future generations understand both the horrors of the Holocaust and the evils of Anti-Semitism.”

Dov said:

“I am honoured to have received the aptly named ‘Points of Light’ award from the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. This is the signal for me and Lily to keep going, and to spread Lily’s messages and Holocaust testimony even further. The world is seeing Lily, and recognising the light she emanates.”

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