About Berthe Rueff

Berthe (or Bertha) Rueff was a daughter of Leopold Rueff and Julie Levy from Basel, Switzerland. She had three brothers: Marcel, Paul and Louis and three sisters: Mathilde, Lucie and Celine.

Berthe Rueff married Jonas Kattenburg in Amsterdam on 15 December 1920, a wholesaler and retailer in shoes and a son of Samuel Kattenburg en Schoontje Ossendrijver and  lived at Nieuwe Hoogstraat 29 in Amsterdam. The couple had three children, of whom their youngest child Leopold (Leo) was killed in Auschwitz, only 10 years old, together with his parents. Berthe's  two daughters, Schoontje (Sieny) and Julie (Jetty) were able to survive the Shoah by going into hiding.

According notes on the card from the Jewish Council of Jonas Kattenburg, Berthe and her husband were “gesperrt” (safeguarded) from deportation because of the “functie”(function) of Jonas. (since 11 August 1942 he was a shoemaker for the Jewisch Council). But on 26 May 1943 both were sent to Camp Westerbork where they had to stay in barack 60. Also their little son Leopold had to accompany them. During their stay in this transit camp they even have given permission to her daughter Schoontje (Sieny) in order to marry Hartog (Harry) Cohen, while she was then still under age. They married 28 June 1943 in Amsterdam and after they were wed they went together into hiding. The notice of marriage took place at a counter of a department store of V&D at Weesperstraat in Amsterdam and the wedding was solemnized at Plantage Parklaan 9, just around the corner of the “Hollandse Schouwburg”. (the place where all the Jews were gathered before the were deported to the concentration camps). The reason that the marriage took place at such unusual places was because all public buildings were already forbidden and closed for Jews. Berthe’s other daughter Julie (Jetty) was married after the war to Jozef Sprecher.

Berthe and her husband eventually were deported from Camp Westerbork to Auschwitz on 8 February 1944 where they have been killed immediately upon arrival there on 11 February 1944.

City Archive of Amsterdam, archive cards of Bertha Rueff and Jonas Kattenburg, the file cabinet of the Jewish Council of Amsterdam, cards of Bertha and Jonas Kattenburg and an addition of a visitor of the website.

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