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On the Run
Mother & Daughter, Holocaust Survivors, in the USSR

by Ruth Budyshewitz Werner ©2014, Paperback, ISBN: , pp
 



Born in Długosiodło, Poland, 45 miles from Warsaw, Ruth Budyshewitz Werner seemed destined for adventure. Her father had already left Długosiodło to seek his family’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. Ruth’s mother, Anna, lived with her husband’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 Długosiodło. A month later they exiled the town’s Jews. They were ordered to leave Długosiodło, within the hour, abandoning their homes and taking as much as they could carry. They were told to go where the Soviet army was—“to your brothers the Russians.” Thus began Ruth and her mother’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 Ruth’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 “on the run,” 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, Ruth’s life story will inspire children and adults alike.

Table of Contents

Children’s Prefaces i

Chapter 1 Ancestral Hometowns 1

Chapter 2 A Child in Długosiodło 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

Timeline 52

Works Cited 55

Endnotes 57

Maps 81

Photographs 88

On the Run

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