The Story of Sabina Miller 1922-2018
Sabina Miller née Najfeld was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1922. She was the third of four children and had a warm and happy childhood. The family were quite Orthodox but integrated well into Polish life.
Sabina’s life was shattered after Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and the Warsaw ghetto became a reality at the end of 1940. Her parents died of typhus as a result of the subhuman living conditions there.
She lived in the ghetto for two years then escaped illegally to an aunt in Sokolow – a town 80 kilometres from Warsaw. She worked on a farm with 29 other Jewish girls but ran away to the forest when she heard the Germans were coming for them. She then spent the winter of 1942 living in a trench – a hole in the ground, begging for food.
At great risk, Sabina decided her best route to safety was to take on the identity of a Polish girl who was due to be sent to Germany as a Polish slave labourer. Instead, she was captured, interviewed by the Gestapo five times and then sent to the Paviak prison in Warsaw.
Miraculously she was freed and then took on a second false identity. She was eventually sent to Germany in 1943 where she worked on three farms and lived out the rest of the war as a Polish slave labourer. She married a Polish Jewish soldier in 1947 in Germany and came to the UK later that year.
This is a story of luck and kindness, and the message is one of tolerance and acceptance. It is told by her daughter Sandra Miller using filmed testimony from Sabina, some photos and the identity papers she acquired. It is a moving account of courage, survival and above all luck and shines a light on the tenacity of the human spirit.
Presented by Sandra Miller
Sandra Miller is an actor and coach and now uses her experience to train people in communication skills. She runs courses for ‘blue-chip’ organisations in a range of presentation skills.