Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Kent - August 7, 1984

Returning to Łódź

How long were you there? The hospital.

I was in the hospital for quite a while because I got very sick. Whatever I ate at night, I would have to give it up in the daytime; it was just like my stomach could not hold any food. And my eyes were hungry but my stomach could not take all this food at one time. So, it took us quite a bit there um, probably about six weeks or so, until uh, we got used to the food, to normal food and then I decided to, I have to go to Łódź. I have to go back and to find my brothers. This was my whole purpose in surviving. And so, I managed to get a ride through the uh, with some soldiers, Russian soldiers, and I got back to our city in Łódź. Unfortunately, no one was there and again I had no place where to live, where to spend the night. It was so frightening. And then I said, why did I survive? What was the purpose of surviving, now I have no one that survived with me? And I finally spent the night uh, with the janitor of our home and no one came back to look for me and no one survived. And after a while they formed an orphanage in Łódź and this President Rumkowski, who was in charge of our ghetto, he used to be the President of this orphanage where I stayed after the war. Helenow. It was just like a suburb of Łódź.

What was the attitude when you came to Łódź of this janitor?

I was extremely frightened of these people because they were not Jewish and they didn't like us too much before the war. Although my mother was very charitable, she used to give them food and money, but the younger people, the children of the janitor, were very anti-Semitic. And I had to spend the night there and I spent a sleepless night because there was an incident during the war that my brother ran into with one of these children of the janitor. And, she would tell on him that he was Jewish. He stayed out late at night after the curfew and so I remember that incident how she was anti-Jewish. But I had no place where to stay that night and I spent the night with them. And the following morning I went to the Jewish um, community and asked for a list of survivors and at this point they only knew that my cousin Mala had survived. But she was not in Łódź at the time. And um, I spend again a night with them, again I didn't have where to stay but within a few days they opened up an orphanage and I uh, went to live in the orphanage and one day, I came into our bakery and I went downstairs, the bakery was downstairs, and I went into the working area and I asked, and one of the men said, "Who is this little girl?" And the owner, because someone took over our bakery after the war, the owner said that I was--Mylef was my father's name, I was his daughter and one of the workers there remembered me and said, "Oh my God, one of her brothers survived." And through the tears as I went into that bakery, to our bakery, I heard that one of my brothers survived. And so immediately my mind started to work how I'm going to leave Łódź to search for my brothers.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn