The lifetime of Ruth Elisabeth Dahl


Ruth's birth

May 30 1922


1933 - 1938

The townspeople of Geilenkirchen supported the Nazi regime and nobody helped their Jewish neighbours. This meant that they were excluded from public institutions and frowned upon. This forced Ruth to go to a private Catholic school.



Ruth's father, Isidor had to shut down his business and sell their house. This meant a considerable financial loss for the Dahl's.

A fresh start


Ruth's family moved to the Netherlands. They settled in a town called Valkenburg. Relocation meant that Isidor could continue his business in cattle dealing, and so he did. Valkenburg was were Ruth's mum, Sophia was born.

Carl departs


Ruth's older brother, Carl, went to live with his maternal aunts in Maastricht.

German troops invade Western Europe

10 May 1940

Netherlands occupied

13 May 1940

Rounding up Jews for deportation


Ruth's maternal aunts were taken to Auschwitz where they perished. Carl volunteered to go with them and ended up in forced labour

Going into hiding


Police took Jewish neighbours away while Ruth and her family went into hiding with the Dutch Resistance.

Moving between refuges

7/1942 - 1944

Ruth was separated from her family. She spent the next 2 years navigating from one refuge to another.



Allied troops entered Netherlands, Ruth came out of hiding.



End of WW2. Ruth returned to Valkenburg and was reunited with her parents. She then found out that her brother Carl had perished on a death march 3 days prior to liberation.

Immigration to the US


Ruth joined her sister Edith in the United States. She got married, had 3 daughters and ended up with 4 grandchildren.