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Ruth Danzig Rauch papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2012.454.1

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    Ruth Danzig Rauch papers
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    Overview

    Description
    The Ruth Danzig Rauch papers primarily contain biographical materials, correspondence, and emigration and immigration materials related to Ruth Danzig’s escape from Munich, Germany to Great Britain on the Kindertransport in 1939, her immigration to the United States in 1944, and the Danzig and Frank family’s life in Munich from 1939-1942. The biographical materials include documents from the International Tracing Service about Emanuel and Gerda Danzig, archival research on the fates of members of the Bravmann, Winter, and Danzig families in Germany, and school records for Ruth Danzig Rauch. The correspondence is chiefly letters to Flora and Siegfried Frank from their families in Germany. The emigration and immigration papers include English identification papers, Ruth’s cabin landing card from the SS Cavina, and a copy of her naturalization certificate.
    Date
    inclusive:  1938-1993
    bulk:  1938-1956
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Steven Frank
    Collection Creator
    Ruth Danzig Rauch
    Biography
    Franziska (Ruth) Danzig was born on July 12, 1932, in Munich, Germany, the only child of Emanuel and Gerda Winter Danzig. Emanuel was born on July 29, 1895, in Munich. He served in the German Army during World War I. Gerda was born on May 17, 1903, to Solomon and Hedwig Sichel Winter in Wittelshofen, where the family had lived for centuries. Solomon, a cattle dealer, was born on August 29, 1871, in Wittelshofen, and Hedwig was born on February 6, 1874, in Butthart. Ruth’s mother had two older sisters: Frieda (Flora), born December 29, 1912; and Marta, born August 1, 1900; who married Samuel Bravmann, and had two children: Siegbert, born September 19, 1922, and Bianca, born April 15, 1928. Gerda and Emmanuel married circa 1931. The family lived in an apartment building across the street from the synagogue where Emanuel worked as a shammash, who, like a sexton, assists in the running of the synagogue. Ruth enjoyed a close, loving family life centered on the activities and services at the synagogue.

    After Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933, governmental persecution of the Jews steadily increased. In 1937, Ruth’s Aunt Flora moved to Munich. An American cousin, Herbert Winter, agreed to sponsor her immigration to the United States. She Flora left on the S.S. Britannic from Le Havre, France, arriving in April 1938 in New York City. She worked as a housemaid, and saved her money in order to help her family leave Germany. In 1938, Ruth’s and her parents, and her extended family, moved to Munich.
    On November 9, 1938, the first night of the Kristallnacht pogrom, two Gestapo members ransacked their apartment and took their valuables. They ordered Ruth off the bed so they could flip the mattress and search for hidden items. They questioned Emanuel to make sure he had not kept any weapons from his military service. The following day, the Gestapo returned, took Emanuel away, and transported him to Dachau concentration camp. He was released on December 28, and returned home. He had been badly beaten and had sustained damage to his eyes.
    In early 1939, Ruth’s 11 year old cousin, Bianca, was sent to Great Britain on the Kindertransport [Children’s Transport.] Her family had found a Jewish family in London, the Moskowitz’s, to accept her as a foster child. Gerda and Emanuel asked them to find a Jewish family to sponsor Ruth and they suggested their friends, the Pasternaks. On June 26, 1939, Ruth left on a train to the Netherlands, where she boarded a ship to England. The Pasternaks met Ruth at the train station in London, but she was scared and refused to speak or eat until she saw Bianca. They enrolled Ruth at a Jewish school.
    On September 3, Great Britain declared war on Germany. Not long after this, Ruth, Bianca, and other London school children were evacuated to the countryside for safety. The students at Ruth’s school were sent to the town of Windsor, where their headmistress found them temporary homes with local families. Ruth was taken in by a wealthy, elderly widow named Mrs. Crisp. She was a spiritualist and medium and made Ruth participate in séances and use a spirit board every night. One day, Ruth upset her and Mrs. Crisp locked her in a bathroom. Bianca found out what had happened and reported Mrs. Crisp to the authorities. Ruth was moved to a second family, and then to a third family, which treated her very poorly. Ruth ran away from this family several times. In 1941, she got herself placed with a fourth family, the Hughes, who were very kind, always including her in family activities and making sure she had food, clothing, and time to study Hebrew. Ruth stayed with the Hughes family until November 1944, when her Aunt Flora, now married to Siegfried Frank, insisted that Ruth should live with her in the US. On November 8, Ruth boarded the SS Cavina in Liverpool and sailed to New York City via Halifax, Nova Scotia.
    Ruth lived with Flora, her husband Siegfried, a Jewish refugee from Germany, and their young son Steven. After the war ended in May 1945, Ruth, Flora, and Bianca were the only surviving family members. Ruth enrolled in public school and graduated on time. In July 1953, Uncle Siegfried died. Ruth attended college and became a dental assistant. In the early 1960’s, Ruth married her second husband, Abraham Rauch. She petitioned the German government for restitution, and finally found out what happened to her family. By 1942, Ruth’s maternal grandparents, Solomon and Hedwig, her Aunt Marta, Uncle Samuel, and cousin Siegbert, were living with Ruth’s parents, Gerda and Emanuel, in one apartment in Munich. On April 3, 1942, Emanuel and Gerda were deported to Piaski ghetto in Poland where they perished. On July 3, 1942, Solomon and Hedwig were deported to Theresienstadt labor camp-ghetto. Solomon died there on October 1, 1943. Hedwig was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau on May 18, 1944, and murdered. On July 11, 1942, Samuel, Marta, and Siegbert, Bianca’s family, were transported to an unknown destination and perished. Ruth’s husband died in August 1989. Ruth, age 78, died on March 29, 2011, in Bethesda, Maryland.

    Physical Details

    Language
    English German
    Extent
    12 folders
    System of Arrangement
    The Ruth Danzig Rauch papers are arranged chronologically by subject.

    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

    Geographic Name
    Munich (Germany)

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    Steven Frank donated the Ruth Danzig Rauch papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2012.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 13:41:38
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn72345