Prince Charles commissions portraits of north London Holocaust survivors

Programme Name: Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust - TX: 27/01/2022 - Episode: Survivors: Portrai

Lily Ebert, 98, who lives in NW11 gives her testimony and has her portrait painted by Ishbel Myerscough in Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust - Credit: BBC/Tom Hayward

The Prince of Wales has commissioned paintings of two Golders Green Holocaust survivors as a “guiding light for our society”.

Leading artists were tasked with painting seven of Britain's remaining survivors of Nazi atrocities including Tik Tok star Lily Ebert and Rachel Levy, who lives in Jewish Care's Selig Court. All are in their 90s and endured the camps and ghettos before settling in the UK.

Originally from Czechoslovakia, Rachel survived Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, while 98-year-old Lily grew up in Hungary and survived Auschwitz. Prince Charles, who is patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, told a BBC 2 documentary he hopes the portraits are a lasting reminder of the horrors of the Nazi regime.

Programme Name: Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust - TX: 27/01/2022 - Episode: Survivors: Portrai

Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust HRH Prince Charles - Credit: BBC/Tom Hayward

“As the number of Holocaust survivors sadly, but inevitably declines, my abiding hope is that this special collection will act as a further guiding light for our society, reminding us not only of history’s darkest days, but of humanity’s interconnectedness as we strive to create a better world for our children, grandchildren and generations as yet unborn; one where hope is victorious over despair and love triumphs over hate," he said.

Broadcast on January 27 – Holocaust Memorial Day – Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust features testimony and shows the paintings being created. Islington artist Ishbel Myerscough depicts Lily Ebert, Stuart Pearson Wright paints Rachel Levy, and Peter Kuhfeld paints Kensal Green survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch.

Programme Name: Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust - TX: 27/01/2022 - Episode: Survivors: Portrai

Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust: Rachel Levy who lives in Golders Green shares her story and has her portrait painted - Credit: BBC/Tom Hayward

The portraits join the Royal Collection and go on display at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace between January 27 and February 13.

Lily became a surprise social media star during lockdown when grandson Dov Forman posted interviews with her on Tik Tok. Speaking last year about their book, Lily's Promise, she said: "For people who read about it, it's history, but for me it's a life I experienced. For years it was difficult, I couldn't talk about it, then I thought that people should know the truth. It should not be forgotten, and if I don't do it, nobody can.

Lily's Promise

The last photo of Lily and her siblings together in 1943 left to right Piri, Berta, Imi, Lily, Rene - Credit: Courtesy of Lily Ebert

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"It's a miracle I survived, but I can share with the world and the younger generation what happens when people are not tolerant of each other. For my family and for the millions who died only for the reason that they were Jewish, I want to say no one is superior to anyone else. But also never to give up hope. Because it is impossible to survive without hope."

Lily Ebert and Dov Forman

Golders Green great grandmother Lily Ebert and her grandson Dov Forman who posted interviews with her on Tik Tok during lockdown making her an unlikely social media star - Credit: Courtesy of Lily Ebert