born 7 November 1924 in Berlin
died 10 April 2013 in Paris, France
historical former address
Stumbling stone Dr.-Wilhelm-Külz-Straße 45 (planned)
Date of stone-laying planned
Hanna Ruth Klopstock was born into a Jewish family in Berlin on 7 November 1924. She had an older brother named Werner, born on 24 July 1922. Her parents Hans and Frieda Klopstock (née Bütow) moved to Ketschendorf near Fürstenwalde in 1931. The move from Berlin was necessitated by the relocation of her father Hans Klopstock’s job as a chemist with the cable manufacturer “Deutsche Kabelwerke AG”. Until the father’s death in December 1938 in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the family had lived in a flat with garden at Dr.-Wilhelm-Külz-Straße 45. Later, Frieda and Hanna were forced to give up the flat and move to Berlin.
As early as the end of 1938, Frieda had put her daughter on the French Comité Israélite’s emigration list for Jewish children. This was an initiative by Germaine de Rothschild to help such children flee the “Third Reich”. On 20 March 1939, Hanna Ruth was able to leave Germany. Together with 130 other children, she arrived at the Château de La Guette near Paris on 23 March 1939.
After the outbreak of World War II, the children were evacuated to Saint Briac in Brittany and in May 1940 to La Bourboule in the Auvergne. There, Hanna Ruth was given the opportunity to attend a vocational school for the hotel industry. She was eventually forced to flee to the Rhône-Alpes region in November 1942 using a forged identity card with the name of Arnette Ronier. In the municipality of Dieulefit, she initially worked in a boarding house and later in a tuberculosis clinic.
In February 1944, Hanna Ruth moved to Seynes, where she helped her former teacher care for hidden children in a children’s home. After the liberation of southern France in August 1944, she handed over her forged papers and was declared stateless. In 1946, she gave birth to her daughter Gisèle, whom she raised on her own. In 1949, Hanna Ruth was granted French citizenship.
During her time in exile, Hanna Ruth tried to stay in contact with her family in the German Reich via a letter network operated from Switzerland by Elisabeth Luz, also known as Aunt Elisabeth, through the Aid Organisation of the Protestant Churches in Switzerland. The network organised letters to be sent between involuntarily separated Jewish family members. Through this network, Hanna Ruth exchanged many letters with her mother Frieda and brother Werner Klopstock. Today, the letters are in the possession of her daughter, Giséle Cailloux. Hanna Ruth Klopstock died on 10 April 2013 in Paris, France. Both her mother and brother were murdered in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.