"It was cool to have a chance to listen to a real person speak about what he went through during the Holocaust. He was the most credible source that we could have. I learned a lot more through his pictures and stories." ~ Boys Latin Charter School student
Ruth Kapp Hartz
You can download and easily print Ruth's biography here (pdf)
View her website Voices of Holocaust History
Ruth Kapp Hartz was a four year old, hidden child during the Holocaust in southern France. During that time she had to change her name to Renee to hide her Jewish identity.
In addition to being sheltered by an ordinary French farm family, she spent six months in a small Catholic convent to avoid capture by both the Vichy French Police and the Gestapo. When informants told the authorities that the nuns were hiding Jewish children, the Mother Superior was forced to lie to keep Ruth and the other children safe. Only the Mother Superior knew that the children were Jewish. The other nuns thought they were just orphans. Ruth remembers that the convent had blue windows so authorities could not see inside, and the chapel had a trap door where the children would hide when hunted.
Through unusual good fortune, Ruth and her parents survived the war and returned to Paris shortly thereafter. Ruth eventually graduated from the Sorbonne University with a degree in Biochemistry. In 1958, she came to the United States where she married and raised a family. She became a teacher of French language, literature and culture at the Springside School in Philadelphia where she worked for 22 years.
In 1999 she published her childhood memoir, Your Name is Renée, and in 2005, a French translation, Tu t’appelles Renée. She is also the director and producer of “A Legacy of Goodness,” a DVD about her rescuers.