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Ruth Minsky Senderowicz (born 3 May 1926) is a Holocaust survivor. She has written three memoirs about her experience: The Cage, To Life and Holocaust Lady.


Early lifeEdit

Rifkele Riva Minska was born in Łódź, Poland to Avromele and Nacha Minska. Riva was born on May 3, 1926. She was the fourth of seven children: Chanele, Yankele, and Mala preceded her; brothers Motele, Moishele, and Laibele followed her. Riva's father, Avromele Minska died shortly after Moishele's birth.

World War IIEdit

Before 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 Moishele 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 because she inspired others around her to work harder, she was hospitalized instead of killed. When she recovered, she was sent 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.

The newlywed couple arranged to be taken 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 (Chanele, Yankele, and Mala) that escaped to Russia.

Afterward the family emigrated to the United States, where two more children, Chaim and Nachele (Nancy), were born. The family settled in Long Island.[1]

Published worksEdit

  • The Cage (Macmillan, 1986)
  • To Life (Macmillan, 1988)
  • The Holocaust Lady (Macmillan, 1999)


  1. ^ 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.