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Dr. Ruta Sakowska (1922–2011)

With great sadness we note the passing on August 22, 2011, of Dr. Ruta Sakowska, a senior historian at the Warsaw Jewish Historical Institute.

Born in Vilna in 1922, Dr. Sakowska was the daughter of well-known Jewish journalist Meyer Pups. She survived the Holocaust in the Soviet Union, working in a textile factory in Fergan, Uzbekistan, and returned to her native Vilna after the war. From 1944 to 1949, she studied history at Moscow and Vilna Universities. In 1958 she returned to Poland with her parents and began to work at the Jewish Historical Institute, where she was a protégée of director Bernard Mark. She furthered her studies under Artur Eisenbach and Tatiana Berenstein and soon became an established authority on the Warsaw ghetto and the leading researcher and editor of the Ringelblum Archive.

The author of several seminal works on the history of the Holocaust in Poland, Dr. Sakowska received many prestigious awards, including the Jan Karski and Pola Nirenska Award in 1997. She worked closely with colleagues at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on numerous projects and was always ready to share her knowledge and advice. We will miss her greatly.