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Auschwitz survivor finds lost bible of brother killed in the Holocaust: 'Only link I have to him'

The family has no other record to prove that he was ever alive so the newly-discovered scripture means a lot to them.

Auschwitz survivor finds lost bible of brother killed in the Holocaust: 'Only link I have to him'
Cover Image Source: YouTube | The Times and The Sunday Times

A family who had no record of the existence of their loved one has finally discovered his book of scripture. Bela Englman was murdered in the gas chambers at Auschwitz concentration camp in July 1944. He was just 13 years old. His sister Lily Ebert, who is now 99 years old, is an Auschwitz survivor.

She and her great-grandson Dov Forman, 19, have been chronicling her Holocaust experience online to raise awareness about all that happened during that dark period of time in the hope that history won't ever repeat itself. The duo who live in London have more than 2.1 million followers on TikTok and nearly a billion views on all platforms.

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A post shared by Dov Forman (@dovforman)


The power of social media came through when Teofil Brauer decided to read their memoir after hearing about their online presence in a local news report. Brauer was in for a shock when he found something connected to the family in his own father’s stack of books: the Book of Exodus once owned by Ebert's youngest brother, Bela Englman. “He sent me a picture of the book, and straight away, we knew it was Bela’s,” said Forman, according to The Washington Post. “That moment was just incredible.”

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A post shared by Dov Forman (@dovforman)


To Lily, the moment was even more surreal. This was a real-life connection to her brother. She had no other record of him to even prove that he existed—not a birth certificate and not even a photograph. “This is the only link I have to my youngest brother,” the 99-year-old said. “I am so emotional about this book.”

Forman echoed her sentiments and, while holding the book in his own hands, he exclaimed that the feeling was “both remarkable and very emotional.” Bela had written and stamped his name in the book which also had several doodles and childlike drawings etched on the pages.

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Forman and his mother went to Hungary and sat with the book collector as they peered over the pages of the fragile book for the first time. "We are so glad that we can give it to Aunt Lily," Zsolt Brauer said in Hungarian in a video recording during their meeting. "And we are also speechless."

Forman wrote in an Instagram post, "I traveled to Hungary, to pick up a Jewish bible that belonged to my great grandma’s brother, Bela - murdered in Auschwitz, aged 13. Today, visiting Lily in hospital, I handed her his bible, with his signature inside, the only link we have to Bela’s existence."

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The Holocaust survivor has been determined to spend the rest of her life sharing the harrowing stories of Auschwitz and her survival. These stories are important to make sure history never repeats itself, and her great-grandson got on board to support her.  

"I said to my great-grandmother, 'If they can go viral for dancing, why can't we go viral for sharing these really important messages?'" the youngster told CBS News. "I was really not sure that I would stay alive. It is a miracle that I am here. But I promised myself, however long I will be alive, and whatever I will do in life, one thing is sure, I will tell my story," Lily said. 


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