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Oral history interview with Gina Sack

Oral History | Accession Number: 2007.416.4 | RG Number: RG-50.650.0003

Gina Sack, born on October 19, 1924 in Warsaw, Poland, discusses her childhood; her Zionist parents; her experiences studying at an elite art school as a teenager; travelling to Israel two or three years before the war; the bombing of Warsaw; her experiences in Warsaw, including feelings of guilt over wearing nice clothes to a café surrounded by dying children and starving people; leaving Warsaw in April 1943 via cattle car for Majdanek; her experiences in the Radom ghetto for the year she resided at the camp; her forced walk from Radom to Auschwitz; cessation of her menstrual periods while in the ghettos and camps; her comments about the fluidity of gender roles within ghettos, in contrast to rigid gender roles enforced in death camps; exploiting her sexual attractiveness to persuade male camp guards to give her better shelter; her memories of interactions with Kapos; witnessing prisoners changing line-up positions during roll calls to keep each other warm; taking her cousin’s coat after the cousin died in a hospital from complications from an abortion; her interactions with Elie Wiesel; giving her bread to her younger brother each night through an electric fence; the murder of her brother; her constant fear of being raped by German guards; making a facial paste with her mother and cousin to make herself look less attractive in an effort to discourage men from sexually violating her; liberation; and travelling to Israel after the war.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Gina Sack
Joan Ringelheim
interview:  1983 August 25-1983 November 20
Oral histories.
6 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joan Ringelheim