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Ruth Süssmann

Stolpersteine für Gittel und Ruth Süssmann © Koordinierungsstelle Stolpersteine Berlin
Christinenstraße 35

Pankow – Prenzlauer Berg
June 2009

11/21/1937 in Berlin
on the 10th of August 1944 to Auschwitz-Birkenau
in Auschwitz-Birkenau

Ruth was born in 1937, the daughter of Alice, née Silbermann, and Herbert Süssmann. In 1939 her sister Gittel was born. After her parents’ marriage broke down, her mother Alice took Ruth and Gittel to live with her unmarried aunts, Martha and Margarete Sussmann, at Christinen Strasse 35. Ruth’s great-grandfather Siegmund Sussmann, an apron manufacturer, had bought the building in 1882. He was a descendent of one of Berlin’s oldest Jewish families, who had settled here in 1671. Alice remarried and tried to emigrate with her daughters and second husband, Adolf Löwenthal, but without success. While she performed forced labour, Ruth and her sister attended the kindergarten in the Jewish children’s home at Fehrbelliner Strasse 92 in Prenzlauer Berg. When it was closed in 1942, the girls had to move to the Jewish old people’s home in Schönhauser Allee. On 27 February 1943, Alice Löwenthal narrowly escaped capture during the “factory campaign” thanks to a warning, and went into hiding with her children. Later, probably soon afterwards in spring 1943, they and other persecutees were given refuge in the weekend home of a committed and courageous communist in Strausberg. Her name was Luise Nickel and her occupation was pressing laundry. But they were soon informed against and forced to move on. Alice tried to muddle through in Berlin on her own with her children, without money or papers. In June 1943, she took the girls to Weimar to place them in the care of a friend of her aunts, but she denied all knowledge of them. However, Alice had also been given the name of another woman in Weimar, who agreed to take the children in. Alice returned to Berlin, sending on money and food tokens to help support her daughters. Occasionally she went to Weimar to visit them. In autumn 1943, the girls were temporarily accommodated in other places. One year later, the Gestapo came for them—no doubt acting on a tip-off—and took them back to Berlin, from where they were deported to Auschwitz in August 1944. They were seven and five years old at the time. Alice Löwenthal survived the Nazi period.

Biographical Compilation

Larissa Dämmig

English Translation

Charlotte Kreutzmüller