Ruth Gruber is an American journalist, photographer, writer, humanitarian and a former United States government official. In 1931, she won a fellowship from the Institute of International Education to study in Cologne, Germany where she received a PhD in one year, becoming the youngest person in the world to receive a doctorate. While in Germany, Gruber witnessed Nazi rallies and after completing her studies and returning to America, she brought the awareness of the dangers of Nazism. In 1935, “The New York Herald Tribune” asked her to write a feature series about women under Fascism and Communism.
During World War II, Gruber was Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior. She carried out a study on the prospects of Alaska for homesteading G.I.s after the war. In 1944, she was assigned a secret mission to Europe to bring one thousand Jewish refugees and wounded American soldiers from Italy to the US. Her book “Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America” was based on case histories she recorded as she interviewed the refugees.
Gruber spent a year in Israel writing “Raquela: A Woman of Israel”, about an Israeli nurse who worked in a British detention camp. The book won the National Jewish Book Award for Best Book on Israel. In 1985, at the age of 74 she visited isolated Jewish villages in Ethiopia and described the rescue of the Ethiopian Jews in “Rescue: The Exodus of the Ethiopian Jews”. Gruber has received many awards for her writing and humanitarian acts, including the Na’amat Golda Meir Human Rights Award and awards from the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance. In 1991, she published volume one of her autobiography “Ahead of Time: My Early Years as a Foreign Correspondent”.