Ruth 'Tutti' Fishman
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Ruth 'Tutti' Fishman

Ruth Fishman Born: July 17, 1936, Germany
Deported: September 1944
Liberated: May 9, 1945
Immigrated to America:1954

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Ruth (Lichtenstern) Fishman was born in Cologne, Germany, on July 17, 1936, but moved with her family to Amsterdam soon afterwards.  Under the German occupation, her family was concentrated into the “Amsterdam East” ghetto. Originally her family was able to escape the roundups to deport Jews to concentration camps because of her father’s work in the metal industry, but eventually in 1943 they responded to a summons and were moved to a theatre in Amsterdam filled with many other Jews.  They were all transported to the Westerbork Concentration Camp, a transit camp for Jews to eventually be deported to their deaths in occupied Poland.

In September 1944, Ruth and her family were transported via cattle car to Theresienstadt, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia near Prague. For eight months, Ruth and her family were subject to the worsening conditions of Theresienstadt. In late October 1944, her maternal grandparents, Flora and Louis Spier, were deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. The camp was liberated by Soviet troops on May 9, 1945. After six weeks of traveling from the Czech Republic to Amsterdam, Ruth’s family discovered they had lost their home.

During the Korean War, Heinz Lichtenstern decided to move the family and his metal business brought to Brazil, fearing the outbreak of another world war.  Ruth attended an American school in Brazil and was able to move to the United States when she was eighteen.  Ruth now lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, and has three children and seven grandchildren.