Auschwitz survivor to meet family of American GI whose kind gesture gave her hope

Lily Ebert and her great-grandson Dov Forman have identified the soldier who gave her hope 75 years earlier.

(CNN)A survivor of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp, now living in London, will have a Zoom meeting next week with the children of an American GI who liberated her -- and gave her a small gift of hope.

Lily Ebert, 90, survived the Holocaust and routinely spoke about her experiences, but she had never shown the German banknote given to her by an American Jewish GI soldier, which featured messages of kindness.
It wasn't until her 16-year-old great-grandson, Dov Forman, wanted to document her experiences that she decided to share the inspirational messages -- a move which led to a viral post and a scheduled virtual meeting with the soldier's family.

    'First person who was kind'

    Ebert was 14 when she and her family were taken from their home in Bonyhád, Hungary to Auschwitz. Whilst Ebert and her two sisters were selected to work, her mother, sister and a brother perished in the death camps.
    "Auschwitz was a hell. Auschwitz was really a factory of death," she told CNN. "The killing went on all the time... I hope nothing similar will ever happen again," she added.
    In April 1945, when she was 16, she was on a death march -- when people were made to walk and left to die along the way -- with two of her sisters after spending four months in a slave labor munitions factory in Altenburg, eastern Germany.
    "We were liberated after a few days walking without food, without water, without shoes," Ebert said, adding that they were "half dead."
    "When they liberated us, we wanted only to get in somewhere, sit down and sleep and we were so hungry and thirsty," she said. "We were still afraid."
    But she recalls a soldier who wrote touching messages on a banknote and gave it to her. The note was inscribed with "a start to a new life" and "good luck and happiness."
    The German banknote has "good luck and happiness" written on it and "a start to a new life."
    "He was the first person who was kind and wasn't an enemy," she