Born in DĹ‚ugosiodĹ‚o, Poland, 45 miles from Warsaw, Ruth Budyshewitz Werner seemed destined for adventure. Her father had already left DĹ‚ugosiodĹ‚o to seek his familyâ€™s fortune first in Cuba, then in Columbia, South America, and finally in the U.S. That was the custom then when it was difficult to earn a living in small Polish towns. Ruthâ€™s mother, Anna, lived with her husbandâ€™s family; his mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins helped Anna and watched over her. Anna cared for Ruth.
In September 1939, when Ruth was nine years old, the Germans occupied DĹ‚ugosiodĹ‚o. A month later they exiled the townâ€™s Jews. They were ordered to leave DĹ‚ugosiodĹ‚o, within the hour, abandoning their homes and taking as much as they could carry. They were told to go where the Soviet army wasâ€”â€śto your brothers the Russians.â€ť Thus began Ruth and her motherâ€™s exile in the U.S.S.R. For years on the run, they stayed one step ahead of the Wehrmacht (German army) from Belarus all the way to Tatarstan, the Ural Mountains, and finally to Ukraine, enduring along the way famine as well as hard work on Soviet collective farms. In 1946, mother and daughter were repatriated to Poland, but antisemitism there propelled them to seek safety in displaced persons (DP) camps in Germany.
Receiving U.S. visas from Ruthâ€™s father, they emigrated from Europe in January 1948. In New York City, Ruth earned her accounting degree and met Irving Zimmerman Werner whom she married. In 1949, the couple settled in Vineland, seeking to make a living, first on a chicken farm and then in retail. Despite various setbacks, Ruth and Irv prospered in the U.S., having three children, Barbara, Judy, and Kenny. No longer â€śon the run,â€ť Ruth is happy to have settled in the U.S., appreciating the freedom and opportunity here. A coming of age as well as a Holocaust memoir, Ruthâ€™s life story will inspire children and adults alike.
Table of Contents
Childrenâ€™s Prefaces i
Chapter 1 Ancestral Hometowns 1
Chapter 2 A Child in DĹ‚ugosiodĹ‚o 4
Chapter 3 The End of Childhood 6
Chapter 4 Exiled 9
Chapter 5 The Urals 15
Chapter 6 The Ukraine 23
Chapter 7 Emigrants 27
Chapter 8 Dating and Marriage 32
Chapter 9 Farmers 37
Chapter 10 Letting Go 43
Chapter 11 A Two-Tiered Home 47
Chapter 12 Epilogue 49
Works Cited 55