- The Lila Lam Nowakowska papers consist of biographical materials, correspondence, and photographs documenting Lila’s assumed identity in Warsaw during the Holocaust, her internment at Mauthausen and forced labor in Steyr and Znojmo, her postwar reunion with her mother, and the Jewish orphanage where her mother worked in Chorzów after the war.
Biographical materials include identification and work papers under Lila Lam Nowakowska’s assumed identity, Leonora Leska.
Correspondence includes postwar letters from Lila and Dorota Lam in Chorzów, Nowy Tomysl, Elblag, and Cracow to Adam Sznaper in Starogrod, Koszalin, Szczecin, and Warsaw. This series also includes a 2007 letter from Adam to Lila returning the letters to her and commenting on the pain of the wartime and postwar periods.
Photographs depict Lila Lam Nowakowska, her mother Dorota, her brother Henryk, her cousin Hugo, Dorota’s sister‐in‐law Charlotte Lam, children at the Jewish orphanage where her mother worked in Chorzów after the war. This series includes Mauthausen mug shots of Lila Lam Nowakowska and Stefania Korwin‐Kossakowska
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lila Lam-Nowakowska
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lila Lam Nowakowska
- Collection Creator
- Lila L. Nowakowska
Lila Lam Nowakowski was born in 1922 in Stanislawów, Poland (Ivano-Frankivs'k, Ukraine). Following the German invasion in summer 1941, she and her family were forced into the Stanislawów ghetto where her father was briefly chairman of the Judenrat. She obtained false papers along with her mother, brother, and uncle, and they escaped the Stanislawów ghetto in 1942. Using false papers, Lila went to Warsaw, Poland, and lived under an assumed identity, Leonora Leska, until the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. Then she was taken with other Warsaw civilians to the transit camp, Pruszkow, then to Mauthausen where she was quarantined for three weeks. She performed forced labor at the Steyr labor camp near Linz, Austria, until January 1945 and then at the Znojmo labor camp in Czechoslovakia until she was liberated by the Soviets in May 1945. She returned to Poland after World War II and was reunited with her mother who was working at a Jewish orphanage in Chorzów, Poland. Her father and brother both perished during the Holocaust