Laura Hillman

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Laura Hillman (born 16 October 1923) is German-born survivor of Holocaust concentration camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau with the help of Oskar Schindler. She is an American writer and memoirist, as well as a lecturer on the Holocaust, and a docent at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Her 2005 book, i will plant you a lilac tree – a memoir of a Schindler's list survivor, was featured in a Newsweek story amid other such memoirs being published to meet the needs of Holocaust curricula in more than two dozen states.


Laura Hillman was born Hannelore Wolff in Aurich, Ostfriesland, Germany. Her parents, Martin and Karoline Wolff, and her brother, Wolfgang, were all murdered in concentration camps during the Holocaust. Her brother Selly died of sickness at Budzyn. Her two sisters, Rosel and Hildegard, survived the war, as they were outside continental Europe, one in England and the other in the Palestine Mandate.

Wolff and a Polish Jewish prisoner of war, Bernhard ("Dick") Hillman (born 24 December 1915), whose entire family was killed during the war, met at the fourth camp where Wolff had been sent, Budzyn. The couple was married by a Jewish army chaplain in Erding, Bavaria on 22 October 1945. The couple emigrated to the United States after World War II ended, arriving in New York on 4 January 1947, and settling ultimately in Los Alamitos, California, where Hannelore Hillman changed her first name to "Laura."


  • i will plant you a lilac tree – a memoir of a Schindler's list survivor. Atheneum Books for Young Readers: NY, London, Toronto & Sydney: 2005. ISBN 0-689-86980-0

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