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Ruth Schloss papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.29.1

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    Overview

    Description
    The collection documents the Holocaust-era experiences of Ruth Schloss (née Strauss), originally of Waldfischbach-Burgalben, Germany, including living as a hidden child in the La Guette children's home in France. Included are wartime photographs related to Ruth’s experiences in the French children’s homes, an identification card from Montauban, France, and a letter of recommendation written by Ernst Papanek for Ruth in 1957 describing her experiences between 1939 and 1947.
    Date
    inclusive:  1940-1957
    Collection Creator
    Ruth Schloss
    Biography
    Ruth Schloss was born on September 14, 1926, in Höheinöd, Germany, to Julius and Mathilde Strauss. Her father, born on November 24, 1899, was a bookkeeper/ accountant. Mathilde, née Moses, was born in Glan-Münchweiler, Germany, on February 6, 1895, and was a housewife. They were reformed Jews and went to the synagogue in Rodalben, Germany, while living in Waldfischbach- Burgalben. There was only one other Jewish family in the little town.

    In 1937 Nazi laws made it illegal for Ruth to continue attending public school, and she was tutored at home after the third grade. Her father’s cousin was a Hebrew teacher and gave her lessons.

    Her father also lost his job because of Nazi laws. Ruth remembers that people threw stones at her, pushed her or hit her in the streets, and made their dogs chase her. Even her friends who used to come and sleep over at her house no longer associated with Ruth.

    Her father who was active in the Jewish communities in Kaiserslautern and Pirmasens, Germany, was able to get Ruth and her cousin, Edith Moses, on a Kindertransport heading for France. She arrived on March 8, 1939, in Montmorency, France, from where they were taken to the Rothschild Hospital in Paris. After spending a few days there she was sent to La Guette, France. Ruth left La Guette for Couret, France, in 1940. She spent a short period of time there and then was sent to Vic-sur-Cère, France, where she remained until the beginning of 1942. One afternoon at the end of 1941 she was able to visit her parents at Camp de Gurs. They had been deported to Gurs in October 1940. Her father was taken every day to Lagny, France, for forced labor since he spoke French. He had been able to visit her while she was in Couret.

    She left Vic-sur-Cère with 23 other children to go into hiding in the woods for several weeks during the summer. They were divided into small groups. She remembers stealing food that was meant for pigs and eating raw meat from a dead horse that they found.

    Afterwards she was hidden in a convent by the Nuns of St. Joseph near Limoges, France. The Mother Superior was the only one who knew that Ruth was Jewish. When the situation became more dangerous, she was put into an insane asylum for a few weeks and was sent back to the woods for a couple of days. In 1943 Mrs. Rose from the Maquis (French underground) came, took three of the children in the group, and showed them the way into Switzerland. That same year she was also given a false ID card under the name of Yvonne Sapin. She was caught at the French border and sent to Rivesaltes concentration camp. Waiting at the train station, she met a young man who reported to Abbé Alexandre Glasberg, a Catholic priest who rescued Jews from internment camps, and told him about their circumstances. He came and carried Ruth and three other children out of Rivesaltes and brought them to a convent near Limoges where Ruth remained until the end of World War II.

    Physical Details

    Language
    French English
    Extent
    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Schloss, Ruth.
    Corporate Name
    World Union OSE

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Ruth Schloss.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-28 09:14:57
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn514637

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