We survived, for a purpose

Wirth, Miklos & Lilian

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The youngest of three sons born to a master shoemaker in Nyírbogát, Hungary, Miklos Wirth recalls a delightful childhood. Learning to play violin from his mother and picking fruit in the family orchard where ‘the air was so fresh you could cut it’. In May 1944 Miklos was transported to Auschwitz where his parents were murdered. Miklos survived Auschwitz and work camps in south-west Poland before embarking on a 600 km death march to Bergen-Belsen, from where he was liberated.

Lillian Friedrich was born in Fiume, Yugoslavia (now Rijeka, Croatia), and had an idyllic childhood together with her younger brother Alan. At age six, Lillian was orphaned after her parents were arrested in Milan. She and Alan survived the war in a convent in Italy and later lived with their aunt in New York.

Fate brought Lillian and Miklos to Melbourne, Australia, where they met and fell in love. They had a son, Andrew. After years of hard struggle they became successful retailers and enjoyed a wonderful retirement travelling the world together.

Miklos and Lillian always believed they had survived for a purpose, which was realised in their three adored grandsons, Daniel, Jonathan and Raphael, and daughter-in-law, Lynette.