Sabina Szwarc

Sabina Szwarc

Born: February 24, 1923

Warsaw, Poland

Sabina grew up in a Jewish family in Piotrkow Trybunalski, a small industrial city southeast of Warsaw. Her family lived in a non-Jewish neighborhood. Her father was a businessman and her mother was a teacher. Both Yiddish and Polish were spoken in their home. In 1929 Sabina began public school, and later went on to study at a Jewish secondary school.

1933-39: On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Four days later, German troops streamed into Sabina's city. After one month of occupation, her father had to give up his business, she had to give up school, and their family of five was forced into a ghetto that had been set up by the Germans. They shared an apartment with another family. From blocks away they could hear the sounds of German patrols and heavy German boots on the cobblestones.

1940-44: In 1942, as the ghetto was being liquidated, Sabina's Polish girlfriends Danuta and Maria got Sabina and her sister false Polish ID cards. On the eve of the final roundup, they escaped and hid in Danuta and Maria's home. Two weeks later Sabina and her sister took labor assignments in Germany where nobody knew them. Sabina was a maid in a hotel for German officers. One of them asked her whether there were Jews in her family. He said that he was an anthropologist and that her ears and profile seemed Jewish. She looked offended and continued to work.

Sabina was liberated in Regensburg, Germany, by American troops on April 27, 1945. She immigrated to the United States in 1950 and pursued a career as an ophthalmologist.

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