1st World Library

Lili Chuwis Thau



Lili resides in Haifa, Israel, ever since she immigrated there right after the war. Most of the war she was hiding in Poland under false documents.

Having the ability to write so eloquently, she decided to write a memoir of her experiences during World War II, resulting in the book, Hidden. In this book she describes her family and her own life under the Nazi occupation of Lvov, and later, her life in the Polish towns where she found shelter. She describes how her life was endangered, time and again.

In order to survive, she had to live as a Christian young adult, thoughts and ideas and emotions of a teenager are mixed with common sense, fear with logic, courage and self discipline. She lived to see the end of the war and its atrocities, and of going away to start a new life in a new homeland.

Immigrating to Eretz Israel, two years before the State of Israel was born, she found profound happiness and also shock: She had to face people who asked her point blank, "Why are you the only one left from your family? Why wasn't anybody else saved?"

Doubts inevitably set in, Why me and not them?

Later on, flashes start to come back: flashes of long, long lines of people, old, young, men and women, being led to their death.

Lili spent many a sleepless night crying into her pillow, having nightmares, and distressful images flooded her memories. Again and again, she asked herself, What am I doing here in this new place? She believed that she should have been with her people, those who ended up in the gas chambers.

Finally, she decided, Enough. I will keep quiet. I will not explain nor justify myself. I will not share my pain with anybody.

And, for 35 years, she lived true to her personal commitment of silence, concentrating, instead, on building for herself a new home, a new family; on raising children; on getting an education; and on working in a medical lab for many years.

One day, her eldest grand-daughter, at the age of eight, asked her if she would be willing to be recorded for her class, as the teacher had inquired whether any of the kids personally knew a survivor.

And thus, after years of silence, due to her granddaughter's request, she began the process of writing her story, Hidden; combining both painful joyous memories of her youth.

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