Lily Ebert, a 98-year-old Holocaust survivor, has gone viral on TikTok where she shares her stories about Auschwitz. She currently has 1.6 million followers and over 3 million likes. Lily’s great grandson, Dov, created a TikTok for her because “if others can go viral for dancing, then why can’t we go viral for sharing these really important messages.”
When Lily arrived at Auschwitz at the age of 20 with the rest of her family, her mother, brother and one of her sisters were taken right away to the gas chambers. Many young followers who do not know much about the Holocaust, send in all kinds of questions about Auschwitz, like what Lily ate for dinner. She answered in a video that she would only get one small piece of bread.
Lily received 20 million views on a video where she explains the tattooed number on her arm. Nazi guards tattooed Jews at the concentration camps because they should not be seen as humans and rather should be “treated only like numbers,” says Lily. The conditions in the concentration camps were so unbearable, “You were not afraid of dying in Auschwitz. You were afraid of living,” says Lily.
After Auschwitz was liberated, Lily received a German bank note from an American GI, with a special message written on it, “good luck with your future.” Dov wanted to find the soldier, who acted kindly to Lily, so he posted a video of Lily with the banknote. Within a few hours, they learned that the kind soldier was Private Hyman Schulman.
Unfortunately, Private Schulman passed away in 2013, but Dov and Lily were able to set up a zoom call with his son Jason. At first Jason thought it was a prank, but when he looked at the banknote, he saw his father’s name written in Hebrew at the top. After all of the terrible things Lily witnessed in the concentration camp, she says “the little note restored her faith in humanity.”
Lily and Dov also wrote a book, Lily’s Promise, which shares the story of her survival and how she found the will to live. Her autobiography has become a bestseller and it was forwarded by Prince Charles of Wales.
Lily made a lifetime promise that “she would tell her story and change the world” and she is doing that one TikTok at a time.