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Ishbel Myerscough (b. 1968)

Lily Ebert (nee Engelman) (b. 1923) 2021

RCIN 408753

Lily was the eldest child born into an established Hungarian family; she also has the distinction of being the eldest of the sitters portrayed here.

Lily’s father died in 1942, leaving her with a sense of responsibility for her younger siblings. Two years later she and her family were forced to endure unimaginable conditions on the terrible five-day journey by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. During her time there, Lily managed to conceal the small gold pendant, a gift from her mother, depicted in this portrait. Lily and her two sisters were liberated from Auschwitz by American troops on 13 April 1945. Her mother, youngest sister, and brother perished there.

During their sittings for this portrait Ishbel Myerscough was struck by the internal light that emitted from Lily, her infectious energy and her love of life.