St. Paul Woman and Holocaust Survivor Dies at 89

A St. Paul woman who fled and hid in Poland for six years of her youth out of fear for her life during the Holocaust has passed away. Smith passed away on July 24. She was 89.

Lucy (Lilka) Kreisler was born in Poland in 1933, and she started school at age 6. Her relatives stated in her obituary that she was advised to leave and not return after just one month due to the fact that she was Jewish.

She spent six years in hiding with her mother, Mina, fearing for their lives every day. However, they escaped capture.

Smith relocated to Paris in the 1960s but had little money. In the end, she wed an American. She married after having a kid, became a single mother, and immigrated to St. Paul in the 1970s.

Her family claims that she spent her whole life in St. Paul working as a painter, author, teacher, and social justice advocate. She also spoke frequently on the Holocaust and genocide.

Daniel Smith, her son, is her surviving child.

She discussed how a Ukrainian guy helped preserve her family in a 1997 interview with MPR.

She said that because her grandpa was Jewish, the Nazis “assigned an administrator to take control” because he was not allowed to operate a business.

Eugene, a Ukrainian guy, served as the administrator in the case of her family.

Smith told MPR, “When the first action came in, we didn’t even know about it.” He barged into our flat extremely early and ordered us to hide in the attic. He also remained in our flat so that nobody could access the attic. He was simply a good man.

They fled and took cover in the attic after he instructed them to do so. She claimed that the first time, they hid for three days in the attic.

She confirmed that Eugene did indeed lie for her family when asked whether he would. Her family, she claimed, trusted him.

Sometimes they had to hide for a week or two at a time, she claimed, keeping just the clothing they were wearing and some bread for food.

She told MPR that so many individuals had vanished by the time they were able to emerge from concealment.

Absent, she remarked.

On Friday, a service was conducted.

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