Individual Portrait – Ruth Samter

Ruth Samter

Ruth Samter

(1930 – )

b. Breslau, Germany

Wartime Location: Shanghai, China

“They came for my father in November of 1939. It was 9:00 in the morning and they took him just as he was dressed. My mother had a birthday on November 7th and the table was still set with the birthday presents. They took the whole apartment; everything was taken- the jewelry and everything. My father went to concentration camps in Dachau and to Buchenwald. But if you had the money and tickets, you were able to get people out. My grandparents were able to give us all the money that we needed to book passage to China. My mother put us in the Jewish orphanage in Breslau so she could pursue my father’s release. It was only a short while before my mother was able to get the passage and everything… the driver who drove for the Nazis [when my father was picked up] was a former employee of my grandparents. He didn’t want to say anything but my mother looked at him and he let her understand that he would be back. And he did come back, asked for some supplies for my father, and told her exactly what to do. My mother had to deal with the Nazis. She put on a blonde wig and convinced them they should let my father go. My father got out and we left for Shanghai.”

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