BiographyGisele “Gisa” Warren (birth name Gisele Dunner, b. January 8, 1902, in Kraków, Poland) was a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. She was the fourth of six children born to Baruch Dunner (b. 1871; d. 1943) and Ruchel Unger (b. 1871; d. 1943). Gisele was twelve years old when her family moved to Vienna, Austria, following the start of the First World War. In Vienna, Gisele attended commercial school and, after graduating, worked as a secretary.
On March 12, 1938, Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in what became known as the “Anschluss” and Gisele lost her job. Anti-Jewish laws forced her and her sister, Minna, to ask their brothers living in France for help. Friends of their brothers smuggled them into the country via Strasbourg, a city in France near the German border. Baruch and Ruchel Dunner joined soon after.
In France, Gisele lived somewhat in hiding. She learned the corset-making trade and attempted to live normally, so as not to be discovered. After the Second World War broke out in September 1939, French police attempted to arrest Gisele and she ran away. Afterwards, she went to live with her brother, Leo, whose wife was not Jewish. Gisele then lived in the apartment of a French woman who had moved to Marseille and pretended to be the woman’s cousin. Gisele and her family also lived for a time in the zone libre, or the French free zone. Gisele’s parents and two older brothers, Edouard and Heinrich, perished in the Holocaust.
Gisele married Lorne Peake Warren (b. 1903; d. 1982), a Canadian soldier, on July 21, 1946, in France. In 1948, Gisele became a Canadian citizen. She and her husband lived in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Gisele died June 4, 1991, in Vancouver.