Holocaust survivor shares experiences

by Stacy Owens

Exiled from her native country of Germany as a child, Ruth David has turned her personal story of survival into a memoir for all.

As part of the Poets and Writers Series, David, a Holocaust survivor and author, shared her story and read excerpts from her book, “Child of Our Time, A Young Girl’s Flight from the Holocaust,” on Thursday, March 31.

“We’re lucky to have her on our campus to share,” said David Wolf, instructor of English.

“Ruth David devotes a lot of time and energy educating young student generations here in the United States and in Germany,” Melvin Wilk, professor of English, said.

David talked about life as a young Jewish girl in Germany.

“Jews have been blamed for all sorts of things,” David said. “According to Hitler, Jews had to be punished for being Jews.”

David grew up in a family of six children. They had a normal education for a brief time before getting expelled for being Jewish.

“At age six I had stones thrown at me to and from school,” David said.

David’s parents put her name on a list for the kindertransport, a system that allowed Jewish children to flee from Germany into England. Her parents were deported to France.

“They weren’t allowed to take much with them or ask why,” David said. “They were put in a concentration camp made for 4,000 people with a total of 13,000.”

David learned at age 10 her parents had been murdered at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

“Hitler worked out a final solution, the death of all European Jews,” David said.

David’s children encouraged her to write.

“My kids always asked me to, and I gave them an excuse every week why I couldn’t,” David said. “But when I moved to the United States, my daughter showed me how the computer worked, and I had no excuse. It was blood, sweat and tears at the beginning.”

Holocaust Remembrance Day is May 5.