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October 7, 1924 | Gleiwitz, Germany
Ruth was the only child of a Jewish family in the German town of Gleiwitz, near the Polish border. She attended public school until the fourth grade, when she transferred to a private Catholic school. Twice a week Ruth attended religious school in the afternoons. One of her favorite pastimes was playing table tennis.
1933-39: My father was born in Poland and the Nazi government considered him a Polish citizen. In October 1938 the Nazis expelled Polish Jews from Germany, allowing each deportee to leave with only one suitcase. Our family returned to Father's hometown in Poland, Bielsko. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, reaching Bielsko within days. On September 13, the Germans burned both of the town's synagogues.
1940-44: In 1940, my father fell ill and passed away. For the next three years, Mother and I were confined in the Jewish section of the city. Then German authorities split Bielsko's Jews into two groups. The younger ones were sent to labor camps. The older people were deported. By late 1944 I was at the Grunberg labor camp in Germany, working in a textile factory. As advancing Soviet troops neared the camp, the prisoners wereforce-marched towards the interior of Germany. Along the way, I managed to escape.
Ruth was liberated in February 1945. That year she married Henry Finder and the couple emigrated to the United States in 1947.