Submitted by her son Hanoch Gan-Or, Hosha'aya in 2017
Lusia (Machla) Fligner z”l 1922- 2017
Lusia Fligner was born in Boryslaw to Benjamin and Zisia (Kleist). The youngest in her family, she had two brothers, Herman and Munish, and one sister, Etka. When she was two years old, her mother passed away and she moved in with her grandmother in the nearby village of Stara Wieś. At the age of 8 she returned to Boryslaw, while attending a Jewish high school in Drohobycz. Although she was a good and diligent student, she was forced to stop her studies at the age of 16 and began working as an accountant to help support the family. A year later, the Second World War broke out and interrupted her hopes of continuing her education. Even though she could not complete her formal education, she was wise and clever and knew quite well about five languages.
At the beginning of the war, she witnessed the pogroms encouraged by the Germans. The arrival of the Russian forces robbed her father of his small carpentry shop, which was the source of the family's livelihood. When the Germans returned in 1941, her father was visiting her sister away from Boryslaw. She had never seen her father and sister again.
Lusia continued to live in the house with her stepmother, managed to survive and evade several deportations until finally she entered a German labor camp in Boryslaw. She worked in the kitchen and in the laundry, and there she met her husband, my father, Moshe Fligner. They managed to survive the difficult conditions in the camp, to avoid deportations, and to hide in the final days when the Germans sent the remaining Jews to death camps.
Miraculously they avoided a last minute firing squad when they were caught in an escape attempt from the camp. During this escape attempt, two of their comrades who were captured at the same time were executed by a direct order of the regional commander, Fritz Hildebrand. In 1966 they testified about this case and others in the trial in which Hildebrand was accused and found guilty, together with the war criminal Philip Menzenger.
After the war, Lusia and Moshe began a journey that brought them from Boryslaw to Wałbrzych in western Poland, then Israel, and finally, in 1952, they arrived in New Zealand with their two eldest sons. In New Zealand they were awaited by Lusia’s brothers Munish, who arrived there before the war and Herman who arrived in 1951.
In New Zealand Lusia and Moshe worked hard in a variety of occupations and managed to get established economically. They had two more sons and a daughter. They maintained a strong connection to Judaism and Israel and two of their children live in Israel today. Lusia visited her family in Israel many times and was even able to attend a few meetings of the former residents of Boryslaw-Drohobycz, including a meeting in 2016. Lusia passed away in Israel on the last day of Passover in 2017.