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As part of our online Yom HaShoah observance, starting April 21, 2020, the museum wrote about the Holocaust survivors featured in our photography installation Eyewitness.

Ruth Wachner Pagirsky photograph by B.A. Van Sise
Ruth Wachner Pagirsky photograph by B.A. Van Sise

Ruth Wachner Pagirsky was born in 1926 in Berlin, Germany. She and her family were deported in 1936 to Poland. She lived in Katowice until September 1939. Ruth was 13 years old when the war started. After losing many family members Ruth spent time hiding in the forest and ended up in a labor camp. She later obtained false identification papers that stated she was a Polish Catholic. This new identity allowed her to work on a farm in Germany for three years until she was liberated by US soldiers in 1945. Ms. Pagirsky came to the United States in June 1946. Today, she volunteers her time as a member of the Speakers Bureau of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Ruth is featured in the video below about the importance of Holocaust education.

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