Olivia Dabrovska in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning classic movie history when she was 3 years old. Schindler’s list. The little girl in the red coat walking through Krakow ghetto, as its inhabitants are being “liquidated” by German soldiers, was not only the only color in the black-and-white picture, she was also the symbol for most of the film. A complex dance between hope and despair, violence and compassion, guilt and innocence.
Schindler’s list Of course, there was the story of a member of a Nazi party who helped thousands of Jews escape the liquidity of a conspiracy that echoed the current news of the massacre of Ukrainian civilians by Russian troops. And like the protagonist in that film, Dabroska, now 32 and living in Poland, is taking steps to help civilians trying to escape the war.
On March 9, the former actress changed the color of her coat from red to blue to represent the blue and yellow flags of Ukraine, sharing an artist’s rendering of her iconic scene in the photo, which she also shared as part of the post.
“He has always been a symbol of hope,” wrote Dabrowska. “Let him be again.”
In the days that followed, Dabroska went to the Polish-Ukrainian border to help the refugees there. He went on social media to seek their help.
“We need your help here on the Polish-Ukrainian border,” he wrote. “Every little bit helps: we need material and financial donations, you can volunteer to help personally. The situation is dramatic; I’m also a volunteer here, at the border, and I’ve seen it with my own eyes …”
Among these sights were the aftermath of the Russian military bombings.
“Today Russia dropped the Yavoriv bomb,” he wrote. “Only 20 kilometers from Poland. Nearby! I’m scared, but it only makes me more motivated to help the refugees. “
She encounters a Ukrainian mother fleeing the war with her two children who needed transportation to a remote town near the German border.
“Usually we transport refugees to our area, but this time we could not just say ‘no’. They were desperate to get to their sister. Those kids … my God, I can hardly hold back my tears, “she wrote.
“I can’t tell you what I saw there, because I don’t have the accuracy [sic] I don’t think anyone can imagine this nightmare in the eyes of people who haven’t seen it. “
On Wednesday, Dabrovska gave his first update in a while, posting a picture of himself and saying that he and his mother were making progress in getting first aid kits for Ukrainian soldiers, setting up a system for grants and “actively helping refugees, physically or online.” “
In 2018, on the film’s 25th anniversary, Spielberg outlined how he saw the scene as a call to action against such atrocities, a call Dabrovska now hears.
He told NBC News:
In the book, Oscar Schindler – a book by Thomas Kennelly – could not overcome the fact that a little girl was walking at the end of the Krakow ghetto – everyone was hit by a truck or shot in the street. A little girl wearing a red coat being ignored by the SS. The SS was taking everyone, but somehow ignoring this 6 year old child walking down the street in the brightest colored clothes. And yet he was not seen. And to me it means that people – Roosevelt and Eisenhower and probably Stalin and Churchill – knew about the Holocaust. It was a well-kept secret, and [they] There’s nothing to stop it … for me it’s like a glittering red flag that anyone watching can see.
You can see the scene below.