Ruth moved to the Netherlands after Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass") in 1938. She and her father had permits to sail to the United States, but Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940 and they could not leave. Ruth was deported to the Westerbork camp in 1943 and to the Bergen-Belsen camp in Germany in 1944. After an exchange agreement with the Allies broke down, Ruth was interned near the Swiss border until liberation by French forces in 1945.
Every morning we were counted. Why we were counted I cannot tell you, but it had to be precise and if the numbers didn't come out, you had to be counted again. It if took one hour, if it took five hours, they didn't care. You had to be counted. Whether it was cold, whether it was raining, whether it was sunshine...you had to be counted. And during the same time that we were all standing out there they would run uh horse-drawn carriage where they threw the bodies of those people who were either shot or hanged or had died from hunger, from whatever, and they wanted to make sure that we see each morning these horse-drawn carriages drive by. And I remember one time, I looked out and I saw on the fence two bodies hanging on the fence. These people were hung there during the night. Just...they wanted...and shot...I mean they were no longer living but they let them hang there so that we could see it, what would happen to us if we maybe not obey.
We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.