Jewish Women in Travel - Ruth Gruber

In February 2001 CBS featured the true story of Dr. Ruth Gruber in Haven, a mini-series documenting Gruber’s life as a young, Jewish, American government official who helped escort almost a thousand Holocaust survivors from Europe to America in 1944.

Ruth Gruber was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1911. By the age of twenty she had earned three Ph.D.s—one in German Philosophy, another in Modern English Literature and a third in Art History, all from the University of Cologne. In 1935, she received a fellowship to study women under fascist and communist rule. She later began to work for the New York Herald Tribune and became the first foreign correspondent to fly through Siberia into the Soviet Artic. She documented her experiences living among its inhabitants (some of whom were Jews) and later published them in the book, I Went to the Soviet Artic.

In 1941, after Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes became aware of Gruber’s outstanding accomplishments, he appointed her as his Special Assistant. In this role, she carried out a secret mission to Europe and brought one thousand refugees from Europe to Oswego, New York. As they traveled from Naples, Italy she recorded their survival stories. These stories inspired her to write the book Haven.

Dr. Gruber has written thirteen books, seven of which focus on the subject of Israel and the Middle East from the end of World War II to the present. She has also spent nearly twenty years working as foreign correspondent to the New York Herald Tribune. Dr. Ruth Gruber has shown compassion and bravery in the face of suffering throughout her career as journalist, lobbyist, government official and humanitarian.

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Journalist and writer Ruth Gruber, photographed circa 1944 when she escorted Jewish refugees to the United States.

Courtesy of Ruth Gruber

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women in Travel - Ruth Gruber." (Viewed on January 25, 2020) <https://qa.jwa.org/discover/infocus/travel/gruber>.

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