Lilli Tauber - A Suitcase full of Memories

Lilli Tauber grew up in a small town in Austria, Wiener Neustadt, where her parents tended the family store. Then came 9 November 1938--the pogrom known as Kristallnacht. Her father was arrested, Lilli was thrown out of school, and when her father was released, her parents got Lilli onto a kindertransport to England. From her refuge in Great Britain, Lilli wrote countless letters to her parents. And they wrote to her--not only from Vienna, but from a ghetto they were sent to in Poland. At war's end, Lilli returned to Vienna to look for them. Perhaps they too would return. But the letters Lilli found in a suitcase told a terrible, heartrending story. And then there were the pictures her father had sent back. This is Centropa's longest and most complex film, produced by Ulrike Ostermann, assisted by Wolfgang Els and Marie-Christine Schmid, with the help and dedicated cooperation of Lilli Tauber.

Study Guides


Lilli’s father was born in Neunkirchen in Lower Austria.


Lilli’s parents relocated to Wiener Neustadt where, in 1927, Lilli was born. 


After the Anschluss, many Jews wanted to get out of the country as soon as they could.

In 1939, Lilli’s brother left illegally for Palestine. During that time, Palestine was a British Mandate, and therefore had a restrictive immigration quote. Many Jews entered the country with illegal transports – this clandestine immigration is known as Aliyah Bet. “Aliyah” is a term that means immigration to Israel.


In 1945, Austria had declared the Second Republic. In 1946 Lilli returned to Vienna.

For many years Austrians did not want to acknowledge their role in perpetrating the crimes of the Second World War, preferring to view themselves as the Nazi's first victims. This attitude, in part, made it very difficult for those Jews returning to the country after the Holocaust to settle in.

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Lesson plans for this film

10 results
Title / School Subject Documents Language
Lilli Tauber: The Kindertransports
Cynthia Peterman, Charles E. Smith School, Washington DC
Lilli Tauber: Viennese Jewry In The 1930s
Matt Vacca, New Community Jewish High School, Los Angeles
Lilli Tauber: European Jewish Life and Death 1929-1949
Leslie Smith Rosen, Carden School, Baltimore
We speak for them
Deborah Stern Harris
Homeland Project
other projects
Tobin Herringshaw
"20th Century Europe, as seen from Palestine-Israel"
Yonathan Bar-On
How to use the Lilli Tauber film in Greece
Joanna Prodromidou
Centropa Biography Film/Stolpersteine Assignment
History, other projects
Melissa Yarborough
Looking back: A child’s recollections of the Holocaust through the eyes of the children of today
Stella Kalle, Tobin Herringshaw, Roni Zunz
Journeys - The Kinderstransport
Leann Looney