Lilli Tauber - A Suitcase full of Memories

Lilli Tauber grew up in a small town in Austria, Wiener Neustadt, where her parents tended the family store. Then came 9 November 1938--the pogrom known as Kristallnacht. Her father was arrested, Lilli was thrown out of school, and when her father was released, her parents got Lilli onto a kindertransport to England. From her refuge in Great Britain, Lilli wrote countless letters to her parents. And they wrote to her--not only from Vienna, but from a ghetto they were sent to in Poland. At war's end, Lilli returned to Vienna to look for them. Perhaps they too would return. But the letters Lilli found in a suitcase told a terrible, heartrending story. And then there were the pictures her father had sent back. This is Centropa's longest and most complex film, produced by Ulrike Ostermann, assisted by Wolfgang Els and Marie-Christine Schmid, with the help and dedicated cooperation of Lilli Tauber.

Study Guides


Lilli’s father was born in Neunkirchen in Lower Austria. Her mother was born in Prein an der Rax


Lilli’s parents relocated to Wiener Neustadt where, in 1927, Lilli was born. 


After the Anschluss, many Jews wanted to get out of the country as soon as they could.

In 1939, Lilli’s brother left illegally for Palestine. During that time, Palestine was a British Mandate, and therefore had a restrictive immigration quote. Many Jews entered the country with illegal transports – this clandestine immigration is known as Aliyah Bet. “Aliyah” is a term that means immigration to Israel.


In 1945, Austria had declared the Second Republic. In 1946 Lilli returned to Vienna.

For many years Austrians did not want to acknowledge their role in perpetrating the crimes of the Second World War, preferring to view themselves as the Nazi's first victims. This attitude, in part, made it very difficult for those Jews returning to the country after the Holocaust to settle in.

Lesson plans for this film

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For grades Documents

How to use the Lilli Tauber film in Greece


"20th Century Europe, as seen from Palestine-Israel"


Students will learn about historical events that took place in Europe in the 20th century, and see how those events were covered by newspapers in mandatory Palestine and (after...


Lilli Tauber: Viennese Jewry In The 1930s


In this lesson, students will learn about early Zionism and Jewish life in Austria in the first part of the 20th Century. Students will engage themselves with materials...


Lilli Tauber: European Jewish Life and Death 1929-1949


Using the film, “A Suitcase Full of Memories,” this lesson plan helps students explore the topic of the Kindertransport and the impact of the Holocaust on children who survived and...


Lilli Tauber: The Kindertransports


This is a one-class lesson on the Kindertransport.  Following a group viewing of the Lilli Tauber film, students were self-directed by a PowerPoint presentation to explore the politics behind the...


Journeys - The Kinderstransport

10, 11, 12, 9

Homeland Project

other projects

This project will introduce you to editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, while letting you explore a social/historical issue. This issue affected many Jews in the 20th Century and is...


Centropa Biography Film/Stolpersteine Assignment

History, other projects
In this project, students work in pairs to read Centropa biographies, create a 5 minute video about the interviewee, and design a Stolpersteine (commemorative stone) for them.
6, 7, 8, 9

Looking back: A child’s recollections of the Holocaust through the eyes of the children of today

In this cross-cultural project, three Jewish school teachers assigned their students to read the same text using slightly different assignments. Students in all classes produced art in response to the...
10, 11, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

We speak for them


6th Grade SS/LA Project