Ginetta Sagan

"Caraggio!" Courage! To a woman trapped in a Hitler's torture camp, "caraggio" brought hope and strength in the face of certain death.

It is a great person who can make that word into a mantra to survive. And after the miracle of being rescued; it is an even greater person who keeps going back, in order to save another tortured soul. Ginetta Sagan has celebrated 45 years liberating others. She is Courage.

Her parents were tortured and killed. Ginetta was tortured, starved and suffered unspeakable inhumanities when she was captured by the Nazis at age 20.

It is enough in one lifetime to live through these horrifying experiences, but Ginetta is more than one can imagine. She has experienced "man's inhumanity to man". She knows what difference one hour can make when a captor is intent on torturing his prisoner. That is why she directly faces the captors and demands the prisoner's release.

She has been personally responsible for the release of political prisoners in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Latin America and South Africa. 6,000 prisoners in Vietnam have been set free due to Ginetta's unrelenting campaigns.

Her life has been threatened hundreds of times. Unafraid, she seeks and achieves the release of thousands of prisoners of conscience. She is never daunted.

Joined by such humanitarians as Lech Walesa, Joan Baez, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, legislation has been passed and torture practices abolished because of Ginetta. She saw to the passage of Charter 77, the Prisoner's Bill of Rights. Yes, she may be diminutive in stature, but she is a Giant.

Ginetta Sagan, for all you have done and sacrificed, for all those you have saved, Women's International Center proudly honors you and praises your mission with the International Humanitarian Award and the Patricia Neal Courage Award.

She passed away September 1, 2000.

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