Auschwitz survivor Lily Ebert has taken her first steps since recovering from Covid-19 at the age of 97, a feat celebrated by her great grandson on Twitter.
Dov Forman, 17, shared a picture of Ebert’s first post-Covid walk and called it a “miraculous recovery.”
Forman said he and his father contracted the virus last April, yet Ebert was able to stay healthy. But a few weeks after receiving her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Dec. 17, she said she began to feel ill.
“I was very tired, very sleepy. I really don’t know what it is, but I felt very down. You could not do anything. It is terrible,” Ebert said.
Forman said Ebert tested positive for Covid-19 in January and spent three weeks at home while recovering. He said doctors would make daily visits to the London home in order to make sure she was taking all the necessary medication.
Forman recalls the family not wanting Ebert to end up in a hospital, out of fear of never seeing her again. The teen recalls his entire family being worried on days when they saw her in a critical stage, but they had hope she would recover.
“But we knew, she’s a fighter, she’s obviously a survivor of Auschwitz and many other things in her life and she never gives up, and she’s, as I said to my tweet, a true survivor, a true fighter, and we knew she’d get through it, and she didn’t give up, and that’s how, thank God, she recovered,” Forman said.
The global lockdowns from Covid-19 have allowed Forman and his great grandmother to bond as they work on conserving and sharing the memories of Ebert’s days in Auschwitz and the importance of sharing that history, he said.
Forman’s first viral tweet this past July allowed his great grandmother to reunite with the family of the U.S. soldier who left her a note when she was liberated.
Ebert said she arrived to Auschwitz on the last transport from Hungary on July 9, 1944. She spent four months in the camp as a teen and was forced to work in a factory as a slave.
And it was there that she lost her mother, brother and sister.
“More or less, 100 other people from the family, aunties, uncles, nephews, everybody. They killed,” Ebert said.
Despite all that Ebert has gone through in her life, she expressed the same sentiment for surviving both the Holocaust and Covid-19.
“It is fantastic when you can say for everything, ‘I managed, I am here. I went through it, and I am here,'” Ebert said. “I think the only thing what you can do, never, ever give up because it is always hope.”
As long as you have hope, “everything can happen,” she said. “So never give up hope.”
Ebert and her great grandson have enjoyed sharing her story with the world so much that they are writing a memoir of her life and expect it to release in September.
“I just realized she isn’t going to live forever and there’s not much time left with camp survivors and it’s so important to use your platform to share testimony because that’s the way forward,” Forman said.
Forman hopes that his great grandmother’s story will inspire others to do the same in sharing and preserving the history of those who experienced the Holocaust camps.
He encourages everyone to take the time to read and learn, especially with Holocaust Memorial Day on Jan. 27.