Lillian (Lilka) Bielski (nee Ticktin) was born in Bialystok, Poland. She grew up in a privileged home with one older brother and attended Jewish schools.
Lillian's mother died prior to war and her father remarried. Together with her father and stepmother she was forced to live in the ghetto in Lida, Belarus. However, they later escaped to woods to join the Bielski Otriad, a Jewish partisan group. The group was led by Tuvia Bielski.
During the time they were hiding in the woods, Lillian married Tuvia. The Bielski Otriad remained in the woods until they were liberated by the Russians in the summer of 1944. 1250 otriad members survived.
After perilous journey to Romania, Lillian and Tuvia emigrated to Israel. They arrived in the United States in 1956.