Ruth Minsky Sender
Rifkele Riva Minska was born in Łódź, Poland to Avromele and Nacha Minska. Riva was born on the date of May 3, 1926. She was the fourth of seven children: Chanele, Yankele, and Mala preceded her; brothers Motele, Moshiele, and Laibele followed her. Riva's father, Avromele Minska died shortly after Moshiele's birth.
World War II
Following the invasion of Poland, Riva's older siblings fled to Russia to escape forced labor. Riva, her mom and younger siblings are forced to live in the Lodz Ghetto, where younger brother Laibele contracted tuberculosis. On September 10, 1942, their mother was taken out of the ghetto during a Nazi raid, leaving Riva to care for her younger brothers. She adopted them to keep the family together, which lasted until Laibele died and Riva, Motele, and Moshiele were rounded up with the other remaining Jews in the ghetto and sent to Auschwitz. Riva and her brothers were separated at the gates.
After a week, Riva was transported to a labor camp in Mittelsteine. There she contracted blood poisoning from cutting her hand, and was hospitalized, then deported to the labor camp at Grafenort for the remainder of the war. The camp was liberated by Russian forces. Riva finally got her wish to be free. She moved to the United States of America and started a family.
After liberation, Ruth returned to Łódź with friends from the camp. They found that their former homes were occupied by people who had acquired the homes after the Jewish removal. Ruth and her friends decided to flee upon learning that Jewish survivors of the camps were targets for murder. They stayed in an abandoned apartment with other survivors; Ruth met Moniek Senderowicz and the couple married six weeks later. They met by a small water pump while getting water for her small apartment, which she shared with new friends.
The newlywed couple arranged to be smuggled to a displaced persons camp in Germany, where the couple gave birth to sons Laibele and Avromele. Also while at the camp, Ruth was reunited with her brother and sisters that escaped to Russia.
- Sender, Ruth Minsky (1988-03-27). "LONG ISLAND OPINION; A Survivor's Duty Is Not to Forget". New York Times. "Ruth Minsky Sender lives in Commack."
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