Extraordinary Women

Dr Ruth Westheimer

Season 1, Episode 12 of 13

Dr Ruth Westheimer is the world most famous sex therapist, but that is almost the least remarkable thing about here. For she has led many lives. Born to a German Jewish family in 1928, Ruth's happy childhood was shattered when Adolf Hitler came to power and Jews were reduced to subhuman status. Her parents then made the ultimate sacrifice, sending their daughter to safety on the Kindertransport to Switzerland. They would die in the Holocaust. The fate of her parents and her pride in her Jewish roots led the orphaned Ruth to become an ardent Zionist, travelling to Palestine after the end of World War Two, where she was trained as a sniper by the Jewish underground. She was even wounded by shrapnel. But then two marriages led her to the other side of the globe - first to France, and then to the United States - and some of the world's finest universities. In New York she became a single, working mother, before meeting her soul mate, Manfred Westheimer, by whom she had another child.

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