Profile

Dan Ruby

About Me

I'm looking for the perfect software for telling stories rich with historical context. My subjects include:

- Rabbi Yitzhak Elchanan Spektor
- the U.S. liquor industry after Repeal
- World War II Jewish refugee escape routes
- Nazi aryanization in occupied Paris
- 1950s nuclear physics.

Stories

Motives for mercy — the consuls of Toulouse

Motives for mercy — the consuls of Toulouse

In July 1940, consular officials from three nations conspired to open an escape route for Jews out of occupied France. Why did they do it?

May 1940 – July 1940
  • 15
Wild goose chase
 — an accident in Jersey City

Wild goose chase — an accident in Jersey City

A newspaper clipping placed Walter Ruby on the scene of an automobile wreck in Hudson County, N.J. Not every lead pans out.

  • 1
 Roaring Twenties — young man on the make

Roaring Twenties — young man on the make

Walter Ruby hustled his way as a traveling silver salesman, with some career side trips into boxing promotion and medicinal alcohol.

  • 10
Escape from Berlin — last good chance to get out

Escape from Berlin — last good chance to get out

How Elly and Helga Ringel were smuggled with SS escort out of Germany and across the Belgian border in August 1938.

  • 8
Rose Ratner's scar — the pogrom in Rostov, 1881

Rose Ratner's scar — the pogrom in Rostov, 1881

The Tulbowitz tavern in Novocherkassk was overrun by Cossacks during the Rostov pogrom of 1881.

1881 – 1881
  • 1
Our Ruby name 
— why did Walter choose it?

Our Ruby name — why did Walter choose it?

When and why did Walter Rabinowitz take on our abbreviated last name? It was 1917, months after the death of his father Joseph..

  • 15
Our Ruby name
— sullied in Dallas

Our Ruby name — sullied in Dallas

Lee Harvey Oswald-killer Jack Ruby was not related to our family. He tarnished our name in the history books.

November 25, 1963 – November 25, 1963
  • 2
Grad-student life in a packet of letters

Grad-student life in a packet of letters

Stan maintained correspondence with his closest high school and Army buddies, several of whom went on to prominent careers.

1947 – 1951
  • 2
The Kauflers of Krakow

The Kauflers of Krakow

Our best documented family line is Feige Kaufler's ancestry among the Jewish families of Krakow.

  • 1
Sidney Kessler and American Spirits

Sidney Kessler and American Spirits

Walter Ruby's boss in the liquor business became an influential figure in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • 1
Sputnik  in the backyard

Sputnik in the backyard

Watching Sputnik at night from our back yard in a suburb of Pittsburgh is one of my earliest memories.

  • 1
Stan finds love outside of a 10-block radius

Stan finds love outside of a 10-block radius

Home from the war, Stan Ruby is a graduate student at Columbia. His bride, Helga Ringel, is a smart, pretty war refugee from Berlin.

1947 – 2005
  • 2
Turning over rocks to find long-lost relatives

Turning over rocks to find long-lost relatives

During the course of my genealogy work, I have discovered and connected with cousins from all my family branches. Here are some lessons.

  • 2
The Ringels in Berlin — time 
 of prosperity

The Ringels in Berlin — time of prosperity

From 1880s to the 1930s, the Ringel family prospered in the garment trade in the German capital. Herman made men's outerwear.

1880 – 1933
  • 2
The Ruby-Rustad experiment — what went wrong?

The Ruby-Rustad experiment — what went wrong?

How and why did Stan Ruby's important post-graduate research go wrong, and what impact did it have on his career in physics?

19 JUL 1924 – 18 OCT 2004
  • 9
Ghosts of Weissensee — the cemetery played on

Ghosts of Weissensee — the cemetery played on

How did Betty Katz meet her end in February 1942?

  • 1
The corkscrew on eBay — sourcing family artifacts

The corkscrew on eBay — sourcing family artifacts

Out of the files of the U.S. Patent Office and into the peculiar subculture of corkscrew collectors.

  • 1
Tulbowitz in the USSR — an alternative history

Tulbowitz in the USSR — an alternative history

If Sholom Tulbowitz had gone to Dvinsk instead of Rostov, his Ratner descendants might have grown up in Perm instead of Albany.

1880 – 1950
  • 2
Ringel-Kaufler roots in Austrian Galicia

Ringel-Kaufler roots in Austrian Galicia

Schija Ringel and Feiga Kaufler came to Berlin as young people in the 1880s. They had their roots in Jewish Galicia.

1829 – 5 NOV 1885
  • 5
Walter Ruby and the Carioca Cooler

Walter Ruby and the Carioca Cooler

The U.S. liquor industry took off after the repeal of Prohibition. Walter Ruby was the marketing manager for American Spirits.

  • 2
Rezekne to Rostov to Albany

Rezekne to Rostov to Albany

The Tulbowitz/Ratner family originated in the Vitebsk region, lived for decades near Rostov-on-Don, and finally settled in Albany, New York.

1818 – 12 AUG 2002
  • 14
Lest we forget 
— Ringel Holocaust testimony

Lest we forget — Ringel Holocaust testimony

Rosa Shatner, née Ringel, and her lovely daughter Margot perished in a Serbian death camp. In 1957, Rosa's son Ze'ev Sharon gave testimony.

1943 – 1943
  • 1
Ringel vs. Ruby in World War I

Ringel vs. Ruby in World War I

Herman Ringel and Walter Ruby wore opposing uniforms in the Great War.

1914 – 1918
  • 1
The Wohlgemuths in Danzig — and how they got there

The Wohlgemuths in Danzig — and how they got there

Before moving his family to Berlin in 1912, Isaak Wohlgemuth prospered as a mover in Danzig. His family roots were in nearby West Prussia.

1880 – 1920
  • 2
Abe Ratner in the seltzer business

Abe Ratner in the seltzer business

The Ratner family became established in the Fifth Ward of Albany, N.Y. Abe bottled soda water and Rose nurtured a brood of children.

1890 – 1950
  • 1
The Ringels in 
Berlin — the 
Nazi years

The Ringels in Berlin — the Nazi years

During the first five years of Hitler's reign of terror, Jewish families of Berlin faced one repression after another.

1933 – 1938
  • 1
Fallacy and family lore—in search of the Kovno Rav

Fallacy and family lore—in search of the Kovno Rav

That story about our Rabinowitz family's tie to a famous rabbi is tenuous at best. Here is the true genealogy of Yitchak Elchanon Spektor.

  • 1
The Rabinowitz family  in Jewish Harlem

The Rabinowitz family in Jewish Harlem

Joseph and Lena Rabinowitz were Russian immigrants who ran a corner grocery in Jewish Harlem. Their nine children were native Americans.

1890 – 1950
  • 2
Mossbauer man
— Stan makes his mark in physics

Mossbauer man — Stan makes his mark in physics

Stan's innovations in Mossbauer spectroscopy.

1958 – 1996
  • 1
The family secret behind granddad's desk calendar

The family secret behind granddad's desk calendar

A surprising artifact discovered after a parent's death leads to a series of discoveries and an ongoing interest in genealogy.

October 1937 – August 2006
  • 15
  • 2
If walls could talk — 75 years in a Parisian villa

If walls could talk — 75 years in a Parisian villa

The home of a French Jewish jeweller was "Aryanized" and became a Nazi salon during the Occupation.

1932 – 2013
  • 20