Anne Skorecki Levy and Lila Skorecki Millen

Anne Skorecki Levy and Lila Skorecki Millen are exceptional. These sisters and Holocaust Survivors are the last living survivors today in New Orleans.

Anne was born in July 1935 in Łódź, Poland. Lila was born 3 years later in 1938.

In September 1939, the German occupation of Poland began. Like many men of military age, their father fled to the east, believing that German invaders would not mistreat women and children.

But in March 1940, Ruth and her daughters were forced into the Łódź ghetto. A few months later, with Mark’s long-distance help, they escaped, only to land in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Their father Mark did the unthinkable. He returned to Poland and willingly entered the ghetto, knowing the only way to potentially keep his family safe would be to physically be with them. Through his ingenuity and a lot of luck, Mark reunited with his family, finding work as a shop foreman in one of the ghetto’s largest slave factories.

Mark managed to get his daughters out of the ghetto using false papers. They were hidden by the Piotrowskas, a catholic family, but had to escape again when an antisemitic neighbor threatened them with exposure.

The rest of the war they spent sheltering in the lumber yard attached to the plant in which Mark had been working under a false identity.

After liberation, the family got papers to emigrate to the US. When their ship docked in New Orleans Mark was tired and unwilling to travel anymore, so they settled in New Orleans.

They both built new lives for themselves and have the most loving and caring families. They concentrated on the future, not looking back. That was until June 1989, when the rabid antisemite, white supremacist and KKK “Grand Wizard” David Duke was voted in as a congressman in Louisiana.

Duke was speaking at the opening of a Holocaust exhibition in the rotunda of the Louisiana State Capitol pushing his repulsive conspiracy theories and Anne stood against him, publicly confronting him on his lies. This public act was televised and thanks to Anne, many people learnt about the truth of the Holocaust for the first time.

Since then both Anne and Lila have been at the forefront of Holocaust education in Louisiana.

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