Pair of sisters who survived Holocaust die within days of each other

·1 min read

Two sisters who moved to Alabama after surviving the horrors of the Holocaust died less than two weeks apart.

Ilse Scheuer Nathan, 98, and Ruth Scheuer Siegler, 95, were born in Germany in the 1920s but lost their parents, Jakob and Helene, and older brother, Ernst, in the Nazi death camps. The sisters were separated at the Birkenau camp, an extension of Auschwitz, later transferred to Stutthof — a camp in Poland — and finally “to Praust, Poland, to clear runways for German planes.”

The Alabama Holocaust Education Center said the survivors became inseparable after the war ended. In 1949, they both married fellow Holocaust survivors and in 1960 Ruth and Walter Siegler moved to Birmingham to join Ilse and Walter Nathan, who had moved there previously.

Ilse had two children and five grandchildren while Ruth had had three children and seven grandchildren.

They lived within walking distance for years, according to the women’s biographies at the education center.

Ilse Scheuer Nathan died on Aug. 23 and Ruth Scheuer Siegler died 11 days later on Sept. 3.

“They were always together,” Ann Mollengarden, education director for the Alabama Holocaust Education Center, told Al.com. “When Ilse died, I think Ruth was ready.”

“After the ties they developed trying to survive together, I don’t know how you can say they didn’t die together,” Mollengarden added.

With News Wire Services