Holocaust survivor from Cricklewood writes a book about her life

PUBLISHED: 11:09 31 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:15 31 January 2017

Rose Lebor with her book (Pic: Jonathan Goldberg)

Rose Lebor with her book (Pic: Jonathan Goldberg)

Jonathan Goldberg

A Holocaust survivor from Cricklewood has written a book about her life before and after she lived in a concentration camp in honour of her granddaughter.

"Going back to Poland was more difficult than I thought it would be.
The camp was sanitised to such an extent that unless you had been told what was going on you couldn’t guess.
I think every one who has survived the Holocaust should write a book."

Rose Lebor

Rose Lebor, of Anson Road, is the only Lady Mayoress in Britain to have survived the Nazi atrocity which claimed the lives of up to six million Jews during the second World War.

The 76-year-old, who is married to ex-councillor and Brent Mayor John Lebor, told the Times she wrote the book so her granddaughter Lilly can know more about her heritage.

She said: “My granddaughter is six and I am 76 so by the time she is interested I might not be here.

“By the time you have the time to ask your parents it’s too late because when you are young you are busy, busy all the time.”

Mrs Lebor’s book aptly titled ‘My Story’ details the four years she spent in Majdanek concentration camp in the Polish city of Krakow and her family eventually settling in France after World War II ended.

Born in Krakow in 1940, Mrs Lebor and her mother were placed in two ghettos before being put in Majdanek.

After the war they were sent to a survivors’ camp where Mrs Lebor’s mother met her second husband and all three were ferried to Austria.

The family illegally crossed the Alps into Italy where they lived for two years before travelling to France.

“My parents chose France because the French had a reputation of freedom and equality,” Mrs Lebor said.

“My father paid someone to take us illegally over the mountains so we walked over the Alps. It’s like modern history repeating itself with today’s refuges.”

The book also tells how Mrs Lebor came to London for six months to perfect her English but ended up meeting her husband and staying for good.

In 2001 Mrs Lebor returned to Krakow for the first time since she left with her husband who was the Brent Mayor.

She said: “Going back to Poland was more difficult than I thought it would be.

“The camp was sanitised to such an extent that unless you had been told what was going on you couldn’t guess.

“I think every one who has survived the Holocaust should write a book.

“It was emotional to write it at times but I am glad I did and Lilly will know about her roots.”

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