Woman who played the ‘girl in the red coat’ in ‘Schindler’s List’ becomes real-life hero

Oliwia Dąbrowska, who shot to fame at the age of three after appearing in the 1993 Oscar-winning epic, wrote on Instagram that she is now leading a group of volunteers providing aid to refugees as they arrive in Krościenko. Oliwia Dąbrowska/Press Materials/Instagram

The woman who played the ‘girl in the red coat’ in Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler's List is now helping Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border.

Oliwia Dąbrowska, who shot to fame at the age of three after appearing in the 1993 Oscar-winning epic, wrote on Instagram that she is leading a group of volunteers providing aid to refugees as they arrive in Krościenko.

Posting a pic of herself on March 13 wearing a high-vis jacket, the 32-year-old said: “Today Russia bombed Yavoriv. Only 20 kilometers from Poland. So close! I'm scared, but that only motivates me more to help refugees.

Posting a pic of herself on March 13 wearing a high-vis jacket, the 32-year-old said: “Today Russia bombed Yavoriv. Only 20 kilometers from Poland. So close! I'm scared, but that only motivates me more to help refugees.”Oliwia Dąbrowska/Instagram

In a Livestream posted to Instagram the following day, Dąbrowska said: "I don't wait for things and no-one from our group of volunteers wants to hear thank you, we just do our job.

"The people need help and we give them help. I really care about every single person on the border.

"I found homes for ten families, also... I can't count how many transports for refugees from the border to Kraków...and other places in Poland.”

Dąbrowska’s coat is the only colour in the black and white Oscar-winning film. The little Jewish girl and her red coast represent the innocence of a community being destroyed.Press materials

She added: "I will do everything I can, I will never forget these people, those faces, those eyes, I will never forget what I've seen.

“You can't prepare for that, you can only imagine there will be suffering people, children, old people, the sick."

For many years, Dąbrowska who now works as copywriter in Kraków had kept her appearance in the film a secret and told her parents not to tell anyone. Oliwia Dąbrowska/Instagram

For many years, Dąbrowska who now works as copywriter in Kraków had kept her appearance in the film a secret and told her parents not to tell anyone.

When the news came out at school that she had been the girl in the red coat, she said it "destroyed her life.”

But now the 32-year-old says she has taken inspiration from the film which told the story of how over 1,200 Jews were saved from Nazi death camps.Oliwia Dąbrowska/Instagram

It was only years later she realised that she had taken part in something really important.

Schindler's List won 7 Oscars and took in $320 million at the box office.

Dąbrowska’s coat is the only colour in the black and white Oscar-winning film. The little Jewish girl and her red coast represent the innocence of a community being destroyed.

Posting on social media, she said she has set up a charity on Instagram to help called #HopeForUkraine and says she will soon be setting up an account on fundraising page zrzutka.pl to raise donations.Oliwia Dąbrowska/Instagram

Spielberg reportedly made a deal with Dąbrowska, asking her to watch the film only after she had reached adulthood.

In a 2018 interview with The Times, Dąbrowska admitted she had not kept her word and watched the film at the age of 11.

In a Livestream Dąbrowska said: "I will do everything I can, I will never forget these people, those faces, those eyes, I will never forget what I've seen."Oliwia Dąbrowska/Instagram

But now she says she has taken inspiration from the film’s Oskar Schindler who saved over 1,200 Jews from Nazi concentration camps and is helping those fleeing war-torn Ukraine.

Posting on social media, she said she has set up a charity on Instagram to help called #HopeForUkraine and says she will soon be setting up an account on fundraising page zrzutka.pl to raise donations.