Lili: Lili Stern-Pohlmann in conversation with Anna Blasiak (Paperback)Anna Blasiak (author)
Paperback Published: 26/11/2020
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This is the story of Lili Pohlmann's incredible childhood and survival. During the Second World War she was helped by many people, sometimes by simply 'looking the other way'; but of especial significance were two remarkable non-Jews: a German woman working for the Nazi occupying forces in Lemberg, and a Greek Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop. After the war Lili came to London in the first of three transports of Jewish children from Poland. She arrived in the British capital on her sixteenth birthday. She still lives in London. The book consists of interviews with Lili, revealing her own voice, which is vivid, colourful and engaging. The conversations focus on Lili's childhood, wartime experiences, her arrival in London and years shortly after the war. They are accompanied by historical commentaries, as well as more personal pieces from the author, Anna Blasiak, framing and contrasting Lili's story and experiences with the story of somebody from a different generation, growing up years after the war in Poland, a place where the vanished Jews left a painful, gaping hole. Introduction by Philippe Sands Historical Context by Clare Mulley Illustrated with photographs throughout
Publisher: Holland House Books
"Lili Pohlmann is the most remarkable person I have ever met. Her story is at once a testament to humanity and a profound and timely warning of what can happen to us all when that humanity is denied by political leaders. It should be required reading in these troubled times. I am proud to call her a friend."-James O'Brien, Broadcaster, LBC; "A moving and important book, a conversation between two immigrants who started their new lives in London. Lili, as one of the last remaining eyewitnesses of Shoah, reveals the story of her life to Anna, talks about her Jewish family, relays her memories, also the tragic ones and shares startling truths about war, at the same time giving us hope and a message for the future. Highly recommended."-Wioletta Greg, author of Swallowing Mercury longlisted for the Man Booker International 2017 and Finite Formulae and Theories of Chance shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize 2015; I started reading Lili and couldn't put the book down! The story is narrated in such a captivating way. I read a great deal about the Holocaust, academic books as well as personal narratives, and find this book outstanding in many ways. Clearly Lili's personality is unique and bringing to life such a horrendous historical era using a variety of small facts - with almost no historical arguments - makes her story overwhelming. I found this book truly outstanding. And the interaction between Lillie and Anna Blasiak is fascinating."-Emanuela Barasch Rubinstein, author of Mephisto in the Third Reich, The Devil, the Saints, and the Church: Reading Hochhuth's The Deputy, and Five Selves.; "It is a life story of an extraordinary person who lost her happy childhood and had to tread a path of suffering and pain, but has never lost hope, courage, dignity and ability to love and forgive, devoting her life to ensure that never again will evil prevail."-Witold Sobkow, former Polish Ambassador in the UK; Due to the extraordinary kindness of strangers during The Holocaust, as well as their own remarkable ingenuity, Lili Pohlmann and her mother were the only survivors of an extended family of over three hundred. This is the incredible story of how that happened, yet for Lili the more significant question has always been why. Why, when so many were cruelly taken, was she chosen to live? The relentless search for an answer to that unanswerable question has infused that life with purpose. Lili is the embodiment of empathy with a unique talent for bringing people together - witnessed by her successful career as a translator and interpreter. Her kindness and generosity has touched innumerable hearts of all ages, and her indomitable spirit has enriched countless lives. Lili's voice, so sensitively captured on these pages, brims with humanity; as you, dear reader, are about to see, time spent in her company is always a pleasure."-Antony Lishak, CEO Learning from the Righteous
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