Ruth Pagirsky was born in 1926 in Berlin, Germany. She and her family were deported in 1936 to Poland. She lived in Katowice until September 1939. Ruth was 13 years old when the war started. After losing many family members Ruth spent time hiding in the forest and ended up in a labor camp. She later obtained false identification papers that stated she was a Polish Catholic. This new identity allowed her to work on a farm in Germany for three years until she was liberated by US soldiers in 1945. Ruth came to the US in June 1946.