2016-11-23 / Obituaries

Ruth Gruber, journalist aided Holocaust survivors

Ruth Gruber, an American journalist who escorted 1,000 Jewish Holocaust refugees from Europe to the United States, has died. She was 105.

Gruber died in her Manhattan home, The Washington Post reported.

She was known for her 1944 journey from Italy to New York aboard a ship carrying refugees from concentration camps.

Despite the risk of sailing on waters patrolled by German submarines, then-Interior Secretary Harold Ickes appointed Gruber to travel with the refugees to “hold their hand,” as she recalled him telling her in “Inside of Time,” a book she wrote about that journey.

Gruber worked as a photographer and reporter for the New York Herald Tribune in 1947, when she became the first Western journalist to visit the Soviet Arctic and the gulag.

In 1947, she watched as a ship carrying 4,000 Holocaust survivors and displaced persons was turned away from Palestine. She photographed and later chronicled those events in a book that Leon Uris used to write his best-selling novel “Exodus. (JTA)

Return to top