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Ruth Engelhardt Spivack Meyers papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.311.1

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    Ruth Engelhardt Spivack Meyers papers

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    The Ruth Engelhardt Spivack Meyers papers consist of biographical material, correspondence, subject files, and photographs relating to the experiences of Ruth Engelhardt who lived in the Montmorency OSE home in France prior to being sent on a 1941 USCOM transport to the United States, where she lived with the Spivack family in Cleveland. After the war, her mother, Helene Engelhardt, immigrated to the United States and they lived in New York.

    Biographical materials include a certificate of naturalization for the United States, a United States passport, and ID photographs for Helene Engelhardt as well as a baby book, birth certificate, certificate of naturalization for the United States, and a death certificate for Ruth Engelhardt.

    Correspondence includes Ruth's wartime and post-war correspondence with her mother. During the war they were able to exchange several Red Cross letters and after the war Ruth wrote weekly letters to her mother. This series also includes letters from Joe, Gladys, and Sherry Spivack to Helene and Ruth.

    Subject files include school records relating to Ruth’s education and career as a nurse and certificates for Helene and Ruth’s inscriptions on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor from The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. This series also includes material regarding the Spivack’s involvement in the Organization for Rehabilitation through Training (ORT). They were very involved in Jewish philanthropy.

    Photographs include wartime photographs of Ruth and the Spivack’s and post-war photographs of Ruth as well as several photo books and a photo album.
    inclusive:  1934-2015
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Glenn Meyers and Debbie Smith
    Collection Creator
    Ruth Meyers
    Ruth Engelhardt (1934-2015) was born in Frankfurt, Germany, to Helene (Lena) Engelhardt. Ruth's father, whose name she never learned, was Jewish and, according to Helene, was killed on Christmas Day 1933. Helene was not Jewish but was politically opposed the Nazi party. A month after Ruth's birth, they moved to the Netherlands, and then to Paris. In 1940, Helene was imprisoned for stealing military supplies and later kept as a foreign prisoner at Gurs. Ruth was separated from her mother and spent time in the Montmorency OSE (Œuvre de secours aux enfants) home in France. In 1942 she arrived in the United States on the Mouzinho, a USCOM (US Committee for the Care of European Children) transport. Ruth was placed with Joe and Gladys Spivack, who lived in Cleveland with their daughter Sherry. They were told that Ruth's mother would likely not survive the war, and they could adopt Ruth when the war was over. In September 1943, Helene was released from Gurs and went to Le Chambon before going to Switzerland where she stayed until the end of the war. Helene immigrated to the United States in 1947 and Ruth moved to New York to be with her mother. Ruth referred to Joe and Gladys as her parents and to Sherry as her sister for the rest of her life. In 1956, Ruth married Tony Meyers and they had three children. They lived on Long Island, where Tony ran a bait and tackle shop. Ruth and Tony both passed away in 2015.

    Physical Details

    2 boxes
    1 book enclosure
    System of Arrangement
    Ruth Engelhardt Spivack Meyers papers are arranged as four series:
    Series 1: Biographical material, 1943-2015
    Series 2: Correspondence, approximately 1943-1969
    Series 3: Subject files, approximately 1946-1999
    Series 4: Photographs, approximately 1934-2005

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Debbie Smith and Glenn Meyers, Ruth’s children, donated the Ruth Engelhardt Spivack Meyers papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-28 09:14:58
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