Oral History

Ruth Meyerowitz describes deportation to and conditions in Ravensbrück

In Frankfurt, Ruth's family faced intensifying anti-Jewish measures; her father's business was taken over and Ruth's Jewish school was closed. In April 1943, Ruth and her family were deported to Auschwitz. Ruth was forced to work on road repairs. She also worked in the "Kanada" unit, sorting possessions brought into the camp. In November 1944, Ruth was transferred to the Ravensbrueck camp system, in Germany. She was liberated in May 1945, during a death march from the Malchow camp.


On November first, 1944, we were loaded onto a train, the same train that brought people in to the camp, and on one side was the crematorium and on the other side was uh so-called freedom, the western part of, uh, Germany. And we were sitting on this train for a while and we didn't know which way it was going. We were hoping that it was true that we were really being taken to Germany to uh...for labor, but uh it could have been just the other way, we could have gone to the crematorium, up to the crematorium. Well finally the train moved out and we were indeed taken to Germany and we stayed in Ravensbrueck. We were taken to Ravensbrueck because all this is in northern Germany, very close to the North Sea. We were taken there and we were kept in a very large tent, something like a circus tent, for several days without food and water. It was uh the, without the water...I mean we were sort of used to starvation, but without water it was just something awful. It rained and we had these spoons, and we were trying to put our spoon outside the tent to try and collect a few drops of water. And of course we didn't have the patience to wait for the spoon to fill up, so as soon as we had a few drops of water, we would anxiously drink it.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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