(1919 - 2013)
Rose Grunapfel Meth (born 1919; died October 2013), born Ruzia Grunapfel, also known as Reisel Grunapfel Meth, surviving participant in the October 7, 1944 Sonderkommando uprising of inmates in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Ruzia Grunapfel Meth was among the forced labor workers in the Union munitions factory. Her role in the preparations for the uprising was to smuggle gunpowder out of the “Pulverraum”, where she and several other women worked making bomb parts. She was a very close friend of Estusia Wajcblum; people often mistook them for sisters. She, Estusia, Regina Safirsztajn, Genia Fischer, and Hana Wajcblum worked together to sneak the powder out concealed in kerchiefs stuffed into a pocket or their bosom. Often there were searches; to avoid discovery, they would dump the powder out onto the ground and rub it into the earth with their feet.
There were risks, but Ruzia didn’t care; she was glad to be doing something. Following the investigation of the uprising, four women conspirators were interrogated and tortured, then condemned to death: on January 5, 1945, Ruzia was forced to watch the execution of Estusia, Regina, Roza Robota and Ala Gertner.
Ruzia endured the common tragedies and distresses of Auschwitz. Her younger sisters were taken away and she never saw them again. She got boils from malnutrition and at one point was unable to walk. She ultimately survived a death march.
While in the camp, Ruzia had traded bread for paper so that she could write notes while in Auschwitz, in order to bear witness later, heeding her father’s admonition to remember what happened. However, she found it unsafe to keep these notes and discarded them.