March 19, 1927 – October 23, 2019
A woman of valor, at the age of 12 Lili (Lilka), along with her mother and father, were taken by the Nazis to the Litzmannstadt Ghetto where she continued her education. Her beloved brother, Hersz (Herman), had been killed during the German invasion in the Battle of the Bzura River at the age of 21. She was forced to take her last friend, Psotka, a small black dog to the SS office to be euthanized. When the ghetto was liquidated, Lili and her mother, Miriam, were taken to the Radegast train station across from the street from Polish homes and loaded onto a box car amid barking dogs for a 3-day trip to Auschwitz. After arriving at Auschwitz, she watched her mother walked to gas chamber number 5 where her ashes remain. Lili survived by placing one foot in front of the other. After numerous trips overseas and many years, in 2007 she finally was accompanied to the demolished gas chamber by her children where she was able, for the first time, to place a symbolic rock on the remaining walls. After much research and several visits to Poland she discovered her brother’s individual grave in a military cemetery where she had always thought he had been buried in a mass grave. She was finally able to place flowers and a plaque on the site. The Talmud tells us that if you save one life, you save a whole world. Following her liberation from Bergen-Belsen by English tanks, she married her husband Julius (Julek) and her whole new world began to emerge. In her home in Pueblo she entertained many friends and neighbors with card games, dinners and picnics. She sewed, cooked, baked, knitted, and generally made things. She owned a knit shop for several years and taught many how to knit the fast way. In 1995 she wrote her memoir, Lili’s Story – My Memory of the Holocaust. In 2009 her book was published by the city of Lodz, translated into Polish by a friend, as their official book for the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the liquidation of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto. Her cover photo became the logo for the bicycle riders of the event.
- Funeral Service Friday, November 1, 2019
October 30, 2019
I met Lili bowling! She was one good bowler! I just loved her! She was smart and very funny! She invited me over one day to try one of her deserts! Her and Julius shared their story with me! My Dad taught history at Centennial high school so I was very interested! Lili gave me one of her books! I was truly honored to have them share their story with me!In all the horror they witnessed they found each other and what a beautiful marriage they had! My 14 year old a Granddaughter was studying about the Holocaust so I gave her Lili’s book to read! She wanted to meet her but I couldn’t find where Lili was living! I will never forget her telling me about a kind loving Woman she met that leant her wedding dress to Lili so they could get married! What a great family they had! I am so sad to hear about her passing! Lily and Julius touched a lot of lives! I was very fortunate to have known both of them!
With love and sadness,
Anna Marie Wheeler
October 29, 2019
Dear family, I want to express my sympathy to your for losing your wonderful mother, grandmother, GGMA. She was an awesome friend to me. May she rest in peace. Love you, Anna Marie