About the Rueff family

The Rueff family came from St. Louis, which was located in the southern part of the Alsace and boarded almost the city of Basel. Saint Louis or Sankt Ludwig: the region was annexed in 1871 by Germany but after WWI and the Versailles Peace treaty, it became French again. Later the family moved to Basel and became Swiss citizens.

The Rueffs were a family of nine persons: the parents Leopold Rueff, a cloth- and sewing machine dealer and Julie Levy, their sons Marcel, Paul and Louis and their daughters Mathilde, Lucie, Celine and Berthe.

About the youngest son Louis is nothing more known else that he was missed in France or Germany during the first World War.  Paul, a dealer in sanitary ware, always stayed in Basel and died there in 1961. The eldest son Marcel, a commercial traveller with car cleaning products, travelled throughout Europe. During his trips, he met this Lena Huisman from Rotterdam and married her about 1905. He died in his residence in Zürich in 1941.

The four Rueff sisters still lived with their parents in Basel and were unmarried. The reason of that was that is was common use in Switzerland those days that future husbands demanded  “large dowries” but father Leopold Rueff was not thát wealthy that he could give them all the required dowries. In Holland it was hardly an item and Marcel Rueff’s wife Lena Huisman has actually initiated that the four sisters all got married in Holland.

By Lena Huisman’s involvement, Mathilde Rueff came in contact with Abraham Munnikendam and they got married in March 1905 and made a home at Blasiusstraat 16 in Amsterdam. Once as her sister Lucie came to visit her, she was noticed by Joseph Barmes who lived in the same street at nr. 66. Joseph was impressed by this good looking woman, came in contact with her and they got married in October 1906. After that event, Celine Rueff came to Amsterdam to visit her sisters.There she met Salomon Dekker, who was also called Leo and they got married in August 1911.

The youngest Rueff daughter Berthe still lived at home in Basel. Celine, who lived with Leo Dekker at O.Z. Achterburgwal, let her come to Amsterdam early 1920 where she came in contact with Jonas Kattenburg, who lived “just around the corner” at Nieuwe Hoogstraat and they got married in Amsterdam in December 1920.

Mathilde Rueff and Abraham Munnikendam died in the mid twenties and have been interred in the Jewish Cemetery of Muiderberg. The three other Rueff sisters have been killed in the Shoah.

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