Ruth Binder (born Ruth Wottitzky) is the daughter of Richard and Jozi (Goldstein) Wottitzky. She was born January 17, 1926 in Windigsteig, Austria, where her parents ran the Wottitzky family general store. At the urging of an acquaintance, Ruth's father applied for American visas in the spring of 1938. With the escalation of the Sudeten crisis in September of that year, the German authorities forced the Wottitzkys to leave Windigsteig. The family went to Vienna, where after six months they received their American visas. From Vienna they travelled through Switzerland to France. On April 15, 1939 they set sail aboard the SS Queen Mary for New York. Upon their arrival in the United States the family settled in Washington, DC. Ruth's maternal grandparents, Julius and Fanny Goldstein, lived in Sevetin, Czechoslovakia, where they owned a general store and raised eight children: Bohus, Ruzena, Klara, Marie, Jozi (Ruth's mother), Olga, Rudolf and Anna. By 1941 all of the children but Rudolf had married, and all but Jozi lived in or around Sevetin. During the German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, Ruth's aunts, uncles and grandparents were deported to Theresienstadt, and from there, most were sent to Auschwitz. Three survived the war: Fanny, Anna and Rudolf. However, Rudolf succumbed to illness and malnutrition shortly after the liberation at a hospital in Dachau. Fanny and Anna subsequently returned to their hometown, where Fanny died in 1951.