Ruth Lansing was born on November 13, 1918 to Ricka and Sigmund Oberlander in a small town outside of Dusseldorf, Germany. Prior to Kristallnacht, Ruth's older sisters made attempts to flee the rising Anti-Semetism in Germany. Her sister Gertrude made it to Holland while her other sister Lucy was successful in emigrating to the USA with her husband. Ruth was in her teens when she witnessed Kristallnacht away from her parents. A few months later she was able to escape to England because of a cousin, but her sister, Gertrude and parents perished in Auschwitz.