Ruth Glasberg Gold was born to a Jewish family in Czernowitz, Romania. In 1941, when she was 11 years old, she and her family and thousands of their Jewish neighbors were rounded up by the fascist Romanian government and deported in cattle cars on a horrifying journey and death march through the region of Transnistria, between the River Dniester and the southwestern border of Ukraine. She and her family and ended up in the Bershad concentration camp. Within three weeks, both of her parents and her only brother died, and Ruth was left to fend for herself. She survived, and after the war, wandered from foster homes to orphanages to refugee camps before escaping Romania on a freighter bound for the British Mandate of Palestine. The ship was wrecked in the Aegean Sea and Ruth was rescued by the British but interned in a refugee camp on Cyprus. She was released after a year and allowed to reach Palestine. At the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, she served as a medic on a kibbutz, then resumed her education and became a registered nurse.
At age 28, she met and married a fellow Romanian émigré and moved with him to Colombia, where they lived for 14 years and had two children. In 1972, the family emigrated to the USA, settling in Miami, Florida. She documented her story in Ruth's Journey: A Survivor's Memoir (1996).