Ruth Heinemann is the second oldest of four daughters that Karl and Selma Simon welcomed to their family in the 1920's. They were one of nine Jewish families that lived in a small town in Germany. Once Adolph Hitler came to power, things changed dramatically and their lives were irrevocably altered along with their fellow Jews and many others deemed "Enemies of the State".
The Simon family was torn apart in order to survive. The girls' father was arrested on Kristallnacht, and Selma had to make the ultimate decision of which two of her four precious children she would send to England for safekeeping.
When Karl was released from the concentration camp, he was warned that if he and his family did not leave Germany within six months, there would be dire consequences.
When the remainder of the family was made aware of an opportunity to depart for Havana, Cuba on a ship called the MS St Louis, they did everything they could to book passage on it. However, there was trouble almost from the beginning for the 937 refugee/passengers on the ship and the majority of them were returned to Europe.
It is a remarkable story and one that many people may never have heard. Eventually the eldest daughter, Edith, is able to embark for England by herself, but the remaining Simons meet a tragic fate.
Ruth is now almost 98 years old and wanted to tell the story of her life all her life. She and her two sisters found the courage to overcome their early losses and established themselves as proud American citizens of their new home.
There is much more to her family's story including return visits to her hometown and the amazing experiences they shared in their former country. This true story is a real page turner as is the amazing Ruth Heinemann who still looks forward to each day.