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USF Libraries Exhibits

Sara Hannah Matuson Rigler


Holocaust Survivor

Sara Hannah Matuson Rigler was born in Lithuania in 1928 and lived with her parents and sister in Siauliai. Her father was jailed for several months and died not long after being released. In June 1941 the Germans invaded and occupied their city, creating two ghettos. Rigler and her mother and sister were in the ghetto until July 1944, at which point they were taken to Stutthof. They were at five different Stutthof sub-camps, and in November, as the Russians approached, they were taken on a death march towards Germany. Rigler escaped from the march, leaving her mother and sister behind, and, while hiding, met some British prisoners of war from Stalag XX B, who hid her for two weeks. She gradually made her way back to Poland, arriving in Bialystok in April 1945. From there she went to a displaced persons camp in Germany. Rigler married a rabbinic student to speed up the visa process, divorcing him after they arrived in America in 1947. She was eventually reunited with the British POWs and continues to be in contact with them. 

The USF Library Catalog


Video Clips

Sara's Arrival at Tiegenhof
Brutal Treatment of Women
Escaping the Germans