Gabi Goslar was the only child of Polish-Jewish parents who had emigrated to Argentina before World War I. When she was four years old, her family moved back to Poland. Goslar’s childhood was spent in the small town of Oświęcim, where her father owned a clothing store. She attended the local Hebrew school and Polish public school.
In September 1939, when Gabi Goslar was just 15 years old, the Nazis invaded Poland. Her family was forced to move into the Oświęcim ghetto, where they were crowded into a single room with another family. Goslar’s father was soon taken away to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and she never saw him again.
Gabi Goslar and the rest of her family were deported to Auschwitz in 1942. She was separated from her mother and sister upon arrival and was assigned to work in a factory. Gabi Goslar was eventually moved to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she was liberated by the British Army in 1945.
After the war, Gabi Goslar moved to London, where she studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She later moved to the United States, where she worked as an actress and a teacher. Goslar died in New York City in 2010.
In 1940, following the Nazi invasion of Poland, the family was forced into the Warsaw Ghetto. Goslar’s father was able to secure false papers and found work outside the ghetto, while her mother and sister remained inside. In 1942, Gabi Goslar’s mother and sister were sent to the Treblinka extermination camp, where they were killed. Goslar’s father later perished in the Majdanek concentration camp.
Gabi Goslar was one of only a few hundred Jews to survive the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. She was hidden by a Polish family, the Żabinskis, in their apartment on the “Aryan” side of Warsaw. Goslar remained in hiding with the family until the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 when she was discovered and taken to the Pawiak prison. She was later transferred to Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she remained until the camp was liberated by the Allied forces in 1945.
Goslar was sent to the ghetto in Kraków in 1941. She later recalled, “I remember the day they took us to the ghetto. I was sitting on my father’s shoulders, and he was carrying my mother’s handbag. We were all crying.” Goslar’s parents were killed in the ghetto, and she was sent to the Plaszow concentration camp in 1942. She was later transferred to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where she was imprisoned until 1945.
Goslar was liberated by the Red Army in 1945. She later recalled, “I remember the day the Russians came. I was so thin, I was only skin and bones. I remember looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself.” Goslar emigrated to the United States in 1946. She settled in New York City, where she worked as a milliner.
Goslar married Walter Ziffer in 1950. The couple had two daughters, Barbara and Susan. Goslar later recalled, “My husband was the love of my life. He was my rock, he was my everything.” Ziffer died in 1996.
Goslar became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1955. She later recalled, “I remember the day I became a citizen. I was so proud to be an American.”
Goslar has worked as a teacher, a librarian, and a book editor. She has also been active in Holocaust education. In 2000, she published a memoir, Children of the ghetto: my parents were survivors of the Warsaw ghetto, the Plaszow concentration camp, and Auschwitz.
Goslar has been awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and the Medal of the Righteous Among the Nations.
Goslar moved to the United States in 1950, and she became a naturalized citizen in 1955. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Hunter College in 1957.
Goslar worked as a social worker in New York City for several years. In the early 1960s, she became involved in the civil rights movement. She also worked with the American Jewish Committee on civil rights issues.
In 1965, Goslar moved to Israel, where she worked as a social worker and a teacher. She also became involved in the Israeli peace movement. In the early 1970s, she helped found the group Women for Peace.
Goslar returned to the United States in the late 1970s. She earned a master’s degree in social work from Yeshiva University in 1980.
Goslar has worked as a social worker and a teacher in the United States and Israel. She is also a peace activist.
Goslar and Triest were among a group of prisoners who were selected to work in the camp’s gas chambers. They would guide the new arrivals into the chambers, and then operate the gas valves. Goslar has said that she tried to make the process as quick and painless as possible for the victims.
After the war, Goslar moved to the United States, where she married and had two children. She eventually settled in Israel, and Triest followed her there. The two women remained close until Triest’s death in 2008.
Goslar has dedicated her life to bearing witness to the Holocaust. She has given numerous interviews and lectures and has written a memoir about her experiences. She is also a member of the Auschwitz-Birkenau International Committee, which works to preserve the memory of the camp and its victims.
Goslar’s story is a powerful reminder of the human capacity for strength and resilience in the face of unimaginable evil. Her legacy will continue to inspire future generations.