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Oral history interview with Ruth Rappaport

Oral History | Accession Number: 2010.374 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0185

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Ruth Rappaport, born May 27, 1923 in Leipzig, Germany, discusses her parents, Mendel Rappaport, a Romanian subject, and Helene Rubinstein, who was born in Poland; how her mother’s cousin, also named Helene Rubinstein, was a well-known cosmetics businesswoman, attending an Orthodox Jewish school and an English language school in Leipzig, Germany; her membership in the Zionist youth group, Habonim; her Romanian passport, which did not identify her as a Jew; moving to Switzerland with her family shortly after Kristallnacht; staying in Zurich, Switzerland as a nanny for the Herzog family after her parents returned to Germany; selling nail polish, which her parents sent because they could not send money; being sponsored by her uncle, Carl Rubinstein, who lived in Seattle, Washington to come to the United States; leaving Europe in December 1939 on the Holland American Line boat, the Veendam; her parents’ attempt to leave Germany with Cuban visas; how her father died in Buchenwald and her mother in Ravensbruck, both in 1943; attending high school in Seattle, then the University of Washington, and finishing at Berkeley, majoring in sociology; working after graduation for a Jewish newspaper in Seattle and for the Zionist Emergency Council; working with Bartley Crum for UNSCOP (United Nations Special Committee on Palestine) in San Francisco, CA; working in Israel during the War of Independence in 1948, where she exchanged gunfire with Palestinians; working with Golda Meir; helping establish the Israel Photographic Archives; returning to the United States and working for the Department of Defense as a librarian; living overseas in Okinawa, Japan; Taipei, Taiwan; and Vietnam; and retiring from the government after 19 years.

Interviewee
Ruth Rappaport
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
2010 October 14  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 digital files : WAV.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 11:07:38
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn42274