The Holocaust survivor Sabina van der Linden-Wolanski, who was a guest of honour at the inauguration of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, would have celebrated her 85th birthday on 8 June 2012. In 2005 she gave a memorable speech in which she described herself as “the voice of the six million persecuted and murdered Jews, and the voice of the few who survived”.
Sabina van der Linden-Wolanski was born in the town of Borysław, near Lviv, in what was then Poland. She was the only member of her family to survive the German crimes in eastern Poland during World War Two. After the war she spent time in Silesia and Paris before emigrating to Australia in 1950. The history of her family, the Habermans, is documented in the exhibition in the Information Centre at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. In 2010, she recounted her life story for the video archive at the Memorial.
Following a trip back to Germany and a visit to her home town, which is now in the Ukraine, she wrote her memoirs, which the Foundation published in German in 2010. The book shows the strength of her will to survive as well as the often painful attempts to shed light on periods of her life which she had blocked out of her memory for decades or which can she could only vaguely recall For example, for decades she thought that she had been born in 1930, a date also given in the original version of the exhibition in the Information Centre. It was only when conducting research for her memoirs that she found out that she was actually born in 1927.