Ruth Beery

* 1937

  • “First, my father was born in Hungary. He came up with the idea that seeing that he was a citizen of Hungary, he could get a Hungarian passport or some Hungarian documentation, so that the Slovak laws wouldn’t apply to him. He did that somehow, and I remember in the year forty-three and forty-four, when my parents were hiding, on the run, at one point they said I was very young, that I couldn’t go through all of this with them, so they came up with the idea of hiding me in a convent. That was in October forty-four.”

  • “It was Easter Sunday, we were at Mass, and we came out in a group, in a line. I was the youngest, so I was first. I come out of the church, the church is close to the convent building, there’s this courtyard between the church and the convent building. I was there recently, in Banská Bystrica, I took some photos. I’m standing there, and I see my parents. I don’t run to the, first I ask the nun if I can go to my parents. That’s how I remember it. My father stood with tears in his eyes, my mother was firmer, she didn’t cry, my father was more sentimental... Then we were hugging, and Mum told me: ‘We’ll never, never leave you, we’ll never, never split up again.’ But then I disappointed her. Because I left her and came here.”

  • “I have to say that war broke out in the year seventy-three, the Yom Kippur War, when all the surrounding states attacked us on a feast day, from the north, the south, the west [sic] - it was impossible, that such a small country, surrounded by enemies, was surprised and attacked from all sides on one single day. The alarm was sounded, they informed us somehow, and there was an immediate mobilisation. I went to my mother, to her flat, and my mother told me: ‘This is interesting. It’s war, but I’m not afraid. This isn’t the fear I felt in Europe, when you’re afraid of being Jewish and being persecuted by the Nazis. I’m not afraid here. We’ll get by, here.’ That was fantastic because for the first time in my life she told me: “We’re safe here.’ That is the feeling that the Jewish state gives to its nation.”

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    Tel Aviv, Izrael, 11.11.2015

    duration: 01:51:36
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Růženka, what do they call you here?

RB 002 - kopie.jpg (historic)
Ruth Beery
photo: současná natáčení Eye direct, dobová archiv pamětníka

Ruth Beery was born Růžena Rónová on 30 July 1937 in Hlohovec, Czechoslovakia. Both her parents were Jews - her father Dezider was from Hungary and her mother Blanka was from central Slovakia. Růžena also had one brother, Bedřich (1930-2009). After the Slovak State was formed in the prelude to World War II, her father acquired Hungarian documents, which protected the family for some time. From spring 1942, after the systematic deportation of Slovak Jews had commenced, the family was on the run, sheltered by various non-Jewish families. They stayed in Tisovec for a while at the house of her mother’s sister, whose husband was a doctor and was thus protected as a socially beneficial Jew. In October 1944, when her parents decided to flee to Hungary with her older brother, they entrusted the seven-year-old Růžena to the care of Vincentian nuns in Banská Bystrica. She remained in the convent until April 1945, when she was taken back by her parents. After the war the family returned to Hlohovec, in 1948 they moved to Nové Zámky, where her father kept a shop and later worked as a clerk. Růžena Rónová completed grammar school in 1955, she studied chemistry for a year with follow-up studies in construction engineering. She got married and gave birth to an only daughter, but her marriage collapsed after a year. She later met and married her second husband, who lived in Israel, and in spring 1968 she and her daughter legally immigrated to Israel. She changed her name to Ruth, and after a third marriage, took up her new husband’s surname of Beery. In 1969 her mother also immigrated to Israel. In 1975-1979 she and her husband lived in Mexico. Since 1989 she regularly visits Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Ruth Beery lives in Tel Aviv.