Bat-Sheva Dagan was born in 1925 to a traditional Zionist family
living in Lodz, Poland. Her father, Szlomo-Fiszel Rubinsztajn, owned a
weaving workshop, and her mother, Fajga, was a seamstress. Bat-Sheva
had five brothers and three sisters. One of her brothers, Cwi (Zvi)
immigrated to Eretz Israel before the war.
When war broke out, Bat-Sheva's four other brothers and her eldest
sister fled to the USSR. The other family members moved to Radom,
settling in the area that became known as the "Great Ghetto" in April
1941. There was also a "small ghetto"; Jews were prohibited to leave
either of them. Bat-Sheva joined a youth study group that met
Using "Arian" documents, Bat-Sheva was sent to the Warsaw ghetto by
Shmuel Breslaw, a Shomer Hatzair instructor. She brought the
underground newspaper Against the Flow back to Radom.
In August 1942, Bat-Sheva and her youngest sister, Sabina, were
transferred to the small ghetto. Their parents and older sister were
sent to Treblinka, where they were murdered. Bat-Sheva and Sabina
decided to flee to Germany -- separately, in order not to arise
suspicion -- but Sabina was shot and killed while trying to leave the
ghetto. Arriving in the city of Schwerin, Bat-Sheva used some false
documents to work as a maid for a Nazi family. When her ruse was
discovered, she was arrested and moved from one prison to another. In
May 1943, Bat-Sheva was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and put to forced
labor in the hospital -- emptying latrine buckets and determining the
death of patients by measuring their temperature with the touch of her
hand -- and at the "Canada" commando sorting the clothes of victims.
In January 1945, she was sent on a death march to Ravensbrück and
On 2 May 1945, Bat-Sheva was liberated by the Allies, and went to
Belgium. In Brussels, she met her future husband, a soldier in the
British Army, who gave her a visa to Eretz Israel, where she went to
live with her brother Cwi.
In 1958, her husband passed away. Bat-Sheva raised their two sons,
completed her academic studies and worked in preschool education. She
also traveled abroad as a Jewish Agency emissary.
Bat-Sheva is a pioneer in the field of Holocaust teaching for young
children. She wrote children's books, as well as a book of documentary
poetry for adolescents and adults, which describes her experiences
during the Holocaust. Bat-Sheva also tells her life story to IDF
soldiers and schools in Israel and abroad.
Bat-Sheva has two sons, ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
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