Shulamit Lack, 83, who risked her life to help other Jews escape Nazi-occupied Hungary as a teenager, survived two concentration camps, fought in the Israeli army and then forged a new life in America, died Monday, Dec. 3, 2007.
“Shula went through incredible trials in her life and came through it without being bitter,” said filmmaker Martha Lubell, who told Lack’s story in a 2000 documentary, “Daring to Resist: Three Women Face the Holocaust,” told Newsday.
“Lack was born Maria Gara in 1924 to a wealthy, assimilated Jewish family. At 13 she joined a Zionist youth group – against her family’s wishes – after brushes with anti-Semitism. Her mother was taken to a concentration camp after the Nazis invaded and was never heard from again. Her father in a sanitarium, Lack turned the family’s apartment into a safe house and forged identity papers for fleeing Jews.
“Eventually she was caught and sent to Polish concentration camps. Liberated by the Allies, Lack returned to Budapest. She immigrated to Palestine with her first husband. Lack served in the Israeli army during the War of Independence.
Lack stopped working at LaGuardia Hospital when her husband was diagnosed with emphysema. He died in 1991.