“No one must see me.” I am Ruth Kapp Hartz a survivor of the Holocaust. Although some might know me as Renee. I was given the French name Renee Caper to disguise myself of being Jewish. From the time I was four years old, I lived as a fugitive, hiding in neighbors’ cellars. My Name is Renee is a childhood memoir written by one of my French students, Stacy Cretzmeyer.
Life Stage 1-Hide Out
I was born in Palestine in 1937 to the German-Jewish parents, Elisabeth Nussbaum and Benno Kapp. I was an only child so I spent most of my time with my cousin, Jeanette, and my uncle, Heinrich. At this time, the French were against all the Jews because they had somehow come up with an idea that we wanted to take over the world. We lost jobs and many privileges. Soon were going to run out of food. Later, I found out that Maman was going to send me to an orphanage for French children whose parents’ had died on the war. My parents left me there for six months because it was the only way to keep me safe from the French police and Gestapo who were taking children away every week. After long, harsh months I finally returned to my family.
Life Stage 2-Freedom
One evening my family heard the most comforting words that we thought we’d never hear, “Bercent mon Coeur, D’une langueur.” (…Soothe my heart with dull languor.) June 6th was the first day of our liberation. I prayed to God, thanking him for giving us freedom. One day when the mail came for Maman and Papa. They sat down to read it instead of reading it by the door like usual. I saw that it was from the Red Cross. After some time they both broke down. My favorite uncle and grandmother had been gassed at a concentration camp in Auschwitz. Every now and then my mind would flow to those horrible memories and the only thing to keep me from breaking down was to remember, I had survived. I had survived.
Life Stage 3- A New Life
I later graduated from the...