Gisela Adamski
Gisela Adamski with her family

Gisela Marianne Adamski, nee Sachs, was born on January 17, 1928 in Oppeln, Germany. On April 21, 1943, at the age of fifteen, she was deported to Theresienstadt. A year and a half later, she was deported to Auschwitz, and from there was moved to Kurzbach, a satellite camp of Gross-Rosen, in Germany. In late January 1945, she and other inmates of the camp were forced to begin on a death march further into Germany, from which she escaped. For five days she hid, until on February 4 she was liberated by the Russian army. Later in 1945, she returned to her home town of Oppeln and married a Jewish soldier. In the ten years that followed, she emigrated first to France, then to Israel, and lastly, on May 26, 1956, to the United States.

She first began sharing her history with audiences in 1984. The last time that she shared her story of loss and survival in the Holocaust was this past June, on a virtual call with Newtown High School history students.

Addressing a class that included some students who had been second graders during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, Adamski spoke about how to survive trauma over the course of a lifetime — and urged students to have the courage to advocate for justice, peace and equality.

Gisela died of natural causes on November 15, 2020. She was 92.