Anne Ptaszek

I wouldn’t let go of her

Anne was only 14 years old when the Germans invaded Poland. She was one of seven siblings. With the establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto, the sisters and their one brother were relocated to the ghetto where they lived for two years. From Warsaw, Anne was sent first into slave labor in Demblin and then on to another labor camp.

Throughout the entire ordeal Anne wouldn’t let go of her little sister Reva. Knowing that most young children were immediately sent to the gas chamber, Anne held on to Reva’s hand and protected her throughout the war years. Miraculously five of the seven survived. As orphans, HIAS settled the two youngest sisters, Reva and Etta in Minneapolis. The rest of the family soon followed.

The experiences of the Holocaust taught Anne that you need to “fight back, don’t let them take you like sheep to the slaughter house.”