Ruth Gruber’s 1944 mission to bring 1,000 refugees to the U.S. from war-torn Europe helped to inspire IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund. She earned a doctorate in Germany in 1932 at age 20 with a grant from IIE. The multilingual Gruber became a foreign correspondent and photojournalist and traveled around the world covering stories of rescue and survival. She was the first foreign journalist to report from the Soviet Arctic, interviewing prisoners in Stalin’s Gulag. In 1944, while Holocaust raged, Dr. Gruber was sent to Europe at President Roosevelt’s request, to bring 1,000 refugees from war-torn Italy to haven in Oswego, New York as part of a top-secret U.S. government rescue. With her knowledge of Europe and its languages, Dr. Gruber was well equipped for the daring journey, and successfully lobbied Congress and President Truman on the refugees’ behalf for their right to remain in America after the war. We are proud to have known Dr. Gruber and extend our sympathy to her family and all whose lives she touched.
In her honor, Dr, Gruber’s family has requested that contributions be made to the Ruth Gruber Chair of the Scholar Rescue Fund. Donations may be made payable to IIE and sent to the Philanthropy Office, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017 or by contacting the IIE Philanthropy Office at 646-572-8741 for further information. Donations can also be made online. Funds will be used to support scholars who are facing violence or persecution.