I wanted to make sure to let her know that I was the one that has her in my mind. to life in the US and moved back to Holland after six months. Lia recalled also having a hard time adjusting to life in Virginia and trying to save money to move back to New Zealand or to California, but she stayed in Virginia after she met her husband, Abraham, at a USO convention. After three months of dating, the couple got married and continued to live in Norfolk. They had three kids together: Lisa, Andrew, and Ronnie. Lia became very active in the Jewish community in Norfolk and connected with other Holocaust Survivors living in the area. Despite finding it difficult to talk about her time in hiding, Lia decided to share her experience after teachers at her children’s school asked her to tell her story. Lia spoke with middle school students all over Norfolk once every other month from 1962 until 1976, when she moved to Virginia Beach. “See I was a youngster. So young people can relate to me.” Lia later learned about the Virginia Holocaust Museum through a Rabbi in Virginia Beach who was with an organization of Jewish Survivors in the Tidewater region. Lia came to Richmond to visit the VHM with her daughter, Lisa. There she connected with Inge Horowitz, a volunteer with the Museum. “I became more active through Inge,” says Lia, “And I had met all other people. And this one wanted me to do this, and that one wanted me to do that and 16
Top Left: Hanna Kats, Lia’s grandmother that came out of hiding. Top Right: Lia and her older brother Max before the war. Below: Inge Horowitz and Lia at this year’s Yom HaShoah.
so they all got me involved. The people that work in the [Virginia Holocaust Museum], got me involved in the Museum.”
ia and her husband moved to Richmond 14 years ago after a large storm damaged their home in Virginia Beach. Lia now lives a relaxed life near the West End of Richmond. Abraham passed away in Februrary 2011. Lia has stepped back from speaking at the VHM due to her health, but recently spoke with high school students from Lynchburg. “The questions were wonderful that they had. But, they were surprising because of how little they really knew. And how much they wanted to know. They really wanted to learn. They were fascinated by everything. There was not a peep you could get out of them with their questions and stuff. So I enjoyed that but I had to stop it because my health.” Lia is wary about the current state of the United States but has hope for future generations. “The new generation that is coming up, I think is learning a little bit better how to do things...the 7, 8, 9 year olds they’re might be, learning little more about what life is about,” Lia said “And you didn’t have a good, how should I say, a good example in front of you. And I think these children will have a better example coming from [the millennial] generation. Hopefully, I think.”