Eugenia Shrut (born Gina Tabaczynska) is the daughter of Naftali and Rozalia (Szczecinska) Tabaczynska. She was born May 20, 1925 in Klodawa, Poland, where her father was a grain merchant. Gina had two older brothers, Pawel and Mietek. From 1936 until 1939 Gina lived with her uncle in Warsaw while she attended the Mirlasowej gymnasium. In November 1940 her family fled Klodawa and was later forced into the Warsaw ghetto. Gina was able to continue her education in an underground school in the ghetto. Along with several other students, she managed to complete the high school curriculum and pass a set of exams in 1942. Gina, her parents and her brother, Pawel, worked in the business office of the Schultz Firma, and so were protected from deportation through the winter of 1943. However, during the ghetto uprising, which began in April, Gina's entire family was killed or deported. Mietek died in the revolt. Pawel, who had returned to Warsaw after having fled to the Soviet Union at the beginning of the war, was deported with his wife, Bela, to the Poniatowa labor camp. Gina's parents were deported and murdered in the Trawniki concentration camp. During the first few weeks of the uprising Gina was concealed in a bunker built by her boyfriend, Boleslaw Szenfeld, on the grounds of the Schultz factory. She and 25 other Jews who were hiding in the bunker, were able to escape from the ghetto on April 30 after bribing a German soldier. Gina and eight other Jews found refuge in an apartment on the Aryan side of Warsaw. A Pole named Aleksander Pawlowski, lived with them and became their protector and provider. After a time, Gina was able to secure false papers. Posing as a Pole, she signed up to work in Germany in August 1944. Gina was assigned to the Brzeg labor camp near Wroclaw, where she worked with a crew repairing train tracks until the camp was liberated by the Soviets in February 1945. At the end of the war Gina returned to Poland, but remained there less than a year before moving to France in the spring of 1946. She lived in Paris until she was able to secure an American visa. In September 1947 Gina sailed aboard the SS Sobieski from Cannes to New York. The following year she married Marek Asz (the nephew of Yiddish writer, Sholem Asch) and settled in Boston. For a few years after her immigration she worked as an interpreter for HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society]. Gina later married a second time, to a Polish-Jewish survivor named Jerzy Szrut (Shrut).
Marek Asz was was the son of Itta Gella and Jakub Asz, and the nephew of Sholem Asch. He was born in Warsaw in 1914. Marek had two sisters, Genia and Roma, and a brother, Adam. At the outbreak of World War II, Marek's father was in London. Marek, Roma, Adam and Ittla slipped out of Poland in an ambulance in February 1940, after having bribed a German official. Another bribe yielded transit visas for the family from the Greek consulate in Warsaw. From Greece, the Asz' made their way to Italy. Itta then proceeded on to her husband in London, while the others travelled to Lisbon via Tangiers. In June 1941 they sailed to America, where their parents joined them at the end of the war. However, Genia (who was already married) was not able to leave Poland with her mother and siblings, because her husband did not have a passport. The couple perished in the Warsaw ghetto. Marek Asz married Gina Tabaczynska in 1948. Gina's second marriage was to Marek's former brother-in-law, Jerzy Szrut (Shrut).