Lola Sylman

Born in Kraków Poland in 1928, as Lola Preiss, to a Jewish family. During the war Lola’s parents sent her to a smaller town in Poland hoping she would be safe from the Nazi’s. But eventually she was deported and ended up in Ravenbrück concentration camp.

Lola’s parents and both brothers died in the Holocaust.

After being liberated from Ravensbrück the Red Cross bussed Lola and other released prisoners to Denmark where they remained for two weeks in quarantine. Among the prisoners were her cousin Ewa Sylman. From Denmark they came to Sweden on the ferry to Malmö, on April 28, 1945.

At the time Lola was 16 years old. Caught on film upon the arrival in Malmö she’s clearly visible, smiling and waving towards the camera.

In the beginning of her stay in Sweden Lola was placed with another girl in a private home for some weeks. After that she went to the small town of Forsbacka, to an all girls school where about 80 girls stayed. She remained there for just over a year.

There was an all boys school nearby and one of the boys, another survivor called Jakob Sylman, was acting messenger between Lola and her cousin Ewa. Lola and Jakob became romantically engaged.

In 1946 there was word of ships going to Palestine. Lola and Jakob decided to go. They were married in Palestine, eventually what would became Isreal, in 1949. In 1952 Lola and Jakob moved to Toronto in Canada, where they had two daughters.

Jakob Sylman passed away in 2014. Lola and Jakob were together for almost 70 years.

Lola was identified in the archive film footage from Malmö harbour by her daughter Evelyn Rochwerg Sylman. When talking about the experience of coming to Sweden Lola said,

“I only have good memories from Sweden, the people were all so nice to us”.

When looking at the footage herself, Lola managed to identify her cousin Ewa Sylman and several other survivors who she knew from Ravensbrück. These identifications will be presented soon.

If you can help us with further information about Lola Sylman we will be very happy to hear from you. Please write an email to our researcher Sebastian.

Lola i mittenTight

Lola Sylman on the ferry in Malmö harbour on April 28, 1945. In the middle of the picture, waving and smiling towards the camera.

Lola Sylman i Sverige 1946

Portrait of Lola Sylman by photographer in Sweden, 1946.

Bröllopsbild Lola och Jakob Sylman 1949

Wedding photo Lola and Jakob Sylman in Israel 1949.

Lola Sylman 2016

Lola Sylman in Toronto 2016.