Lily Bink

Lily Bink is the daughter of Abraham and Mina Winiger, Holocaust survivors from Poland (now Ukraine). Her parents emigrated to the United States in 1949 with their toddler, Sarah. Lily was born in Elmira, NY and the family moved to Buffalo in 1954. Lily worked at Buffalo State College as a Counselor to students with historically underprivileged backgrounds, usually first-generation and often immigrant students. She provided academic, financial, career and personal assistance to hundreds of students in a 43-year career – and always felt an overwhelming feeling of gratification to help students fulfill their dreams of becoming college graduates. The empathy she felt towards her students comes from the stories shared by her parents of the tragedy and suffering they endured during the war. In retirement, Lily is an active volunteer as an AARP/IRS income tax preparer and delivers meals to seniors for Ken-Ton Meals on Wheels.

Lily Bink - Lily Bink sm

Summary of Presentation

Abe and Mina were married in 1939 and enjoyed a happy life with very large extended families. Their road from pre-war Poland to liberation to emigration to the U.S. was long, winding and treacherous. When their town in Poland was overrun by the Nazis, life as they knew it ceased. They were forced into the crowded town ghetto where the conditions were deplorable. They both were forced to work as slave laborers. All of their family members suffered in unspeakable ways and during this time, every person in both their families were murdered, including Abe and Mina’s 3-year-old son. They managed to escape from the ghetto and went into underground hiding for 18 months. After liberation in 1945, Abe and Mina wandered from country to country for a year and a half. Ultimately, they ended up in a Displaced Persons camp with other homeless Jewish refugees in Germany for 3 years, immigrating to the U.S. in 1949. As the 2 lone survivors of their families, their story of courage and determination to survive is both poignant and inspirational.

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