Ruth Minsky Sender was born Rifkele Riva Minska to a Jewish family in Łódź, Poland, the fourth of seven children. Before the invasion of Poland in World War II, her older sisters fled to Russia to escape forced labor. Ruith, her mother, and three younger brothers were forced into the Łódź Ghetto. In September 1942, their mother was seized by the Nazis during a raid of the ghetto, leaving young Ruth to care for her brothers. They were rounded up with other Jews in the ghetto and sent to Auschwitz. She was transported to a labor camp in Mittelsteine, where she contracted blood poisoning from a cut to her hand and was hospitalized. She was then deported to the labor camp at Grafenort, Germany. She survived and was liberated by the Red Army. After the war, she returned to Łódź with friends from the camp and met Moniek Senderowicz (later Sender), whom she married six weeks later. They decided they could not live in Poland and arranged to be sent to a displaced persons camp in Germany, where two of their four children were born. Ruth was later reunited with one brother and the sisters who had escaped to Russia.
The family emigrated to the USA, settling on Long Island, New York. She wrote four books about her Holocaust experiences, The Cage (1986), To Life (1988), Remember Your Name (1997), and Holocaust Lady (1999).