An actress who was the “Girl in the Red Coat” in “Schindler’s List” became life’s true heroine by coordinating aid for fleeing Ukrainian refugees.
Oliwia Dabrowska appeared in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic when she was just three years old – her red coat provided the black-and-white Oscar winner’s only pop of color.
Her character, a little Jewish girl, was the catalyst that saved the lives of more than 1,200 Jews destined for Nazi concentration camps in 1943.
And now Oliwia, 32, from Kraków, Poland, has been inspired by Oskar Schindler and is helping refugees from war-torn Ukraine.
She told her followers on social media that she is coordinating a group of volunteers who help refugees when they arrive at the Polish border.
She said she had already found homes for ten families and arranged for hundreds more refugees to be transported to Poland’s big cities.
Oliwia posted a photo of her in a yellow hi-vis jacket at the border, with a line of tour buses behind her.
Livestreaming on Instagram, she said: “I’m not waiting for things and no one in our group of volunteers wants to hear thank you, we’re just doing our jobs.
“People need help and we give them help. I really care about every single person at the border.
“Also, I found homes for ten families…I can’t count how many refugee transports from the border went mainly to Kraków…and other places in Poland.
“I’ll do everything I can, I’ll never forget those people, those faces, those eyes, I’ll never forget what I saw.
“You can’t prepare for that, you can only imagine that there will be suffering people, children, the elderly, the sick.”
Oliwia said there was no screaming or crying at the border, just silence.
She said: “You’re screaming inside and I can’t forget that. And if I have to do that as the girl in the red coat, don’t.”
Oliwia said she had to stay home for three days last week because her car broke down, but she was back at the border on Wednesday.
She said: “We wanted to go to the border to help but I was helping from home, I was coordinating a group of volunteers on my phone.”
The former actress has received hundreds of messages of support from around the world.
And she says she’s working with a charitable foundation on a project to raise money for displaced refugees.
She explained: “Helping at the border is one thing, but people here need help, they need homes, they need jobs, they need schools for their children.
“Wish me luck because it’s a lot of work. I’m tired, I’m exhausted, but I still have energy to help.”
Oliwia added that she had to put her own copywriting business on hold while she helped out.
She said: “I’m not a good worker at the moment, I’m trying to work nights but it’s very difficult, I need a clear head … my clients are angry.”
Oliwia was showered with praise for her efforts, and viewers of the live stream also asked her about her role in Schindler’s List.
In the film, Nazi industrialist Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, sees a young Oliwia walking through the terrified crowd during the 1943 liquidation of the Krakow ghetto.
The little girl’s red cloak stands out against the gray sea, and later he discovers the child dead on a cart carrying corpses.
It is this harrowing experience that convinces Schindler to help the Jews and he decides to create a list of Jewish workers in order to save as many lives as possible.
Schindler was credited with saving more than 1,200 Jews from the Holocaust.
Schindler’s List has won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, seven Baftas and three Golden Globes, and is often ranked among the greatest films of all time.
Oliwia says she doesn’t really remember the set because she was only three years old at the time.
But she remembers being tired because her mom woke her up at 3am to film.
She added that she had to wait “hours and hours” to film a one-minute scene.
Oliwia appeared in another film but turned her back on an acting career.
She said: “Life in show business is very tough, but fame costs a lot.
“I think I could be a pretty good actress, but the price… it’s not worth it.”
According to the United Nations, more than 10.5 million people have had to evacuate their homes in Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February.
At least four million have fled to neighboring countries, including 2.3 million to Poland.
Last month, former Prime Minister David Cameron drove a truckload of aid on a 2,000-mile round trip to help Ukrainian refugees in Eastern Europe.
This story originally appeared on The sun and is reproduced here with permission.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/04/actress-who-played-the-girl-in-the-red-coat-in-schindlers-list-becomes-real-life-shero/ The actress who played the “Girl in the Red Coat” in “Schindler’s List” becomes a true heroine