Batya Lemel, Survivor


Mother of Advocate Irit Rosenblum, Founder & Executive Director of New Family Organization – Israel


Batya Lemel, of blessed memory, was a woman of great valor, warm and loving to the core.

Batya was born in the Silesia region, located between Poland and Germany. She and her one brother were the only survivors of the Garfunkel family, A Jewish-Orthodox family of twelve, who all perished at the hands of the Nazis.

Her fascinating story of survival during the Holocaust was documented by her son Yossi Lemel and granddaughter Noa in an outstanding photography project following the milestones of her riveting journey. Her verbal testimony, part of Steven Spielberg's well- known Holocaust survivor video documentation project, as well as her written testimony of survival, can be found at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

In 1947, Batya immigrated to Israel and studied at the agricultural school in Ayanot. She later served in the Israeli Army's Paratroopers Corps. In 1956, she married to Dov Lemel, also a Holocaust survivor, and together built a new family in Israel, giving birth to three children, Yossi, Irit and Zvika.

Her daughter, world-renowned Advocate Irit Rosenblum, invented the Biological Will TM, which is a direct manifestation of the existential human need for continuity that she drew out of her upbringing as the daughter of Holocaust survivors. This groundbreaking project is the first and only of its kind in the world.

Batya was a woman of many talents; an expert in literature and Israeli culture, a gifted storyteller and an inspiring personality.

Thanks to her wit, great knowledge and resourcefulness, she survived countless near-death experiences throughout World War Two. After being taken from her hometown Bedzin to a labor camp in 1944, she managed to escape, walking two whole days in the snow until she reached a German village, where she introduced herself as a Catholic Polish girl, Barbara Rota, named after a character in a book she had read about Silesian coal miners.

Batya had started to put this compelling story and many others that she had experienced in writing, but unfortunately, she passed away before completing the task.

The short texts that do exist will be published by her family.

May she rest in peace.

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