You are here

Yom Hashoah 2019

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 -
7:15pm to 10:00pm

Torn from home – 80th Anniversary of the outbreak of WWII

Pinner Synagogue’s annual event introduces Lili Stern Pohlmann. Born in Poland in 1930 Lili’s life suddenly changed in 1939, from a carefree child of 9 to experiencing family loss, hellish conditions under occupation and hiding in fear.

Lili is a committed survivor speaker and a passionate humanitarian dedicated to bringing together Polish and Jewish communities. Her work to gain recognition of such lives as Irena Sendler and those of the Righteous among the Nations, was recognised and highly awarded by the late President of Poland. Joining Lili as a guest speaker will be HE Prof Arkady Rzegocki, the Polish Ambassador.

Lili grew up with her younger brother Uriel, in a happy family home in Krakow.

A day before the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, Lili’s father put his family on the last train out of Krakow to Lvov. He rejoined them later, by which time Lvov was occupied by the Soviets. German forces entered Lvov in 1941. Lili’s father and brother were murdered in the death camp Belzec in August 1942. Lili and her mother Cecylia were incarcerated in the Lvov ghetto where relatives, including Lili’s grandparents, met terrible deaths or were deported to camps.

Lili and Cecylia miraculously survived thanks to the extraordinary courage of two remarkable Germans, Frau Irmgard Wieth and Max Kohl, and the Greek-Catholic Archbishop, Metropolitan Andrey Count Sheptytsky. Frau Wieth hid them in her apartment outside the ghetto for over a year. Later the Archbishop sheltered them – Lili in his convent’s orphanage, Cecylia with Mother-Superior Josefa in her private quarters.

Liberation came in July 1944 as Soviet troops entered Lvov.

In 1946 Lili arrived in London by boat with other Polish Jewish children, arranged by Rabbi Dr Solomon Schonfeld. A year later Lili’s mother joined her.

All are welcome. Entrance is free. Doors open at 7.15pm for a prompt 8pm start.

To obtain a free download link to Yom Hashoah 2018, with speakers Ann and Bob Kirk, please request via email to

More information is online about