Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

August 2010

Creation Date


Publisher Information

Florida Holocaust Museum in conjunction with University of South Florida Tampa Library and Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center


Crimes against humanity, Florida, Genocide, Germany, Holocaust survivors, 1939-1945, Jewish children in the Holocaust., Poland, Refugees, Soviet Union, Uzbekistan, Wasserberger, Sala, World War, 1939-1945


Oral history interview with Sonia "Sala" Wasserberger. She was born in 1931 in Goworowo, a town near Warsaw, Poland. Growing up, she experienced a great deal of anti-Semitism from the other people in her town, including her teachers. On September 7, 1939, Goworowo was invaded by the Germans and her father was imprisoned. Most of the Jews were rounded up in the synagogue, which the Nazis tried to light on fire, but they managed to escape through the back door. Wasserberger and her mother spent several weeks in a field before eventually being reunited with her and leaving with her family for Hancewicze, Belarus, which was occupied by the Soviets. In 1941 they were deported to a Siberian gulag, where Wasserberger, who spoke Russian, passed out mail. They were set free when the Soviet/German alliance was terminated and made their way to Uzbekistan, where Wasserberger and her father were briefly put in jail when the Soviets were investigating smugglers. After the war ended, the family returned to Poland and left for Berlin, where they stayed in a displaced persons camp for several years, and then went to Bavaria in 1948. Wasserberger and her husband met and married there and then came to the United States in 1949.

Physical Information

1 sound file (71 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (17 p.)