The husband of Lilian Black has spoken of his “deep pride” at collecting a posthumous OBE for the founder of the only Holocaust centre in the north of England.
Lilian’s award was publicly announced when she was admitted to hospital with Covid in
October 2020. The award of an OBE was made in recognition of her work for Holocaust
education but sadly she was never able to collect it, as she died in hospital shortly after admission, aged just 69.
Now, almost three years later, at a ceremony in Windsor Castle, her husband, Frank Griffiths, finally collected her OBE.
“It was tough and very emotional,” he said, “and lots of memories came flooding
back. It’s difficult to collect something on behalf of your late wife but this represented her
life’s work. She was a powerful voice for Holocaust survivors, and I know she would have
loved to have been there. I’m very proud of her.”
Mr. Griffiths, who until 2017 Chaired an NHS Foundation Trust in Leeds, added that the ceremony was made all the more moving by the kindness shown by King Charles III when he presented the medallion.
“He expressed great sympathy and said some lovely words. I invited him to come and visit Holocaust Centre North and I hope he will one day.”
The daughter of Eugene Black, a Holocaust survivor who was liberated from Bergen-
Belsen, Lilian helped set up what would become Holocaust Centre North, based at the
University of Huddersfield in 2018.
Her work in providing support for survivors and building links between people of all cultures and faiths has been widely praised and the Lilian Black scholarship has subsequently been set up by the University of Huddersfield, which supports research into topics related to the Holocaust and genocide.