The Story of Liesl Woltär 1913-1992
By a lucky chance, Paul’s mother Liesl had the opportunity to escape from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to the UK as a 26-year-old refugee, together with her 19-year-old sister. Later she lost contact with her parents and her brother who had remained behind; nevertheless she had the courage and strength of character to carry on with her life and to work for the British war effort.
In the meantime, her parents and brother were deprived of their property and rights, then imprisoned and brutally mistreated by the Nazis, all three eventually dying as a result of the appalling conditions in the Łódź ghetto where they were held.
After the war, Liesl became aware that not only her parents and brother but also around 50 members of her extended family had perished at the hands of the Nazis. Again she had the strength and courage to carry on, to start a family and, following the early death of her husband, to bring up her two young children as a single mother.
Much of the story is told in Liesl’s own words, using scripts she wrote for talks she herself gave, voiced by her adult granddaughter. The story of the family left behind in occupied Europe is told by Paul using contemporary documents, photographs and newsreel footage.
Presented by Paul
Paul is a retired solicitor who worked in the public sector for over 40 years. His interests are music and enjoying the countryside in which he lives. He has been researching his family history for many years and his presentation is based on that research. Paul would like his mother Liesl’s story to be used to help combat racism and discrimination in our society.