Now 32 years old, 'the girl in red' reflects on impact and symbolism of 'Schindler's List'

It’s one of the most recognizable images in all of movie history -- "the girl in red" from Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece "Schindler’s List."

But behind that symbol…was a 3-year-old girl. 

Oliwia Dabrowska was 3 years old when she put on that red coat for the first time on the set of ‘Schindler’s List’ – a film widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. But, she was a child – and Steven Spielberg made her parents promise that she wouldn’t watch the film until she was 18.

Oliwia defied those wishes and, at age 11, she pressed play – changing her life forever.  


For years, Dabrowska was ashamed of being in the movie, angry when her parents would tell others about it. She kept her involvement secret  – but today, she’s embracing it. Now, 32 years old, Oliwia is volunteering at the Ukraine/Poland border – helping refugees flee the horrors of war.

It’s been nearly 30 years since Dabrowska put on that red coat – she hasn’t always wanted to be her but today, she hangs a photo of her in her home.

It serves as a reminder that that little girl stood for something then, just like she does today.