Court Moor Welcomes Survivor from the Holocaust Educational Trust
On the 31st of January, Year 10 students heard the testimony from Holocaust survivor, Ruth Barnett, as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET). Students listened to Ruth's story about her arrival into England on the Kindertransport in 1939. It was a privilege to hear her testimony and it was a reminder of the horrors so many experienced during that time. Ruth Barnett encourages students to learn from her story and use those lessons to make a difference in the world today.
Ruth was born Ruth Michaelis in 1935 in Berlin, Germany. In 1939, aged four, Ruth and her seven year old brother arrived in England on the Kindertransport.
Over the next ten years, Ruth and her brother lived with three foster families and in a hostel. Her father, who was Jewish, escaped to Shanghai and her mother, who was not Jewish, remained in Germany in hiding until 1945. Ruth’s mother had to go into hiding in 1943 because she had taken part in the Rosenstrasse protest in Central Berlin. About 6,000 non-Jewish women who were married to Jewish men took part in this protest which succeeded in the release of their Jewish husbands from prisons and concentration camps. Most of the men went on to survive the war.
In 1947, Ruth’s father returned to Germany and wanted Ruth to go and live with him. She wanted to stay in England but was returned against her will in 1949 through a court order served by her father.
After leaving university, Ruth married her Jewish boyfriend and converted to Judaism. They celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 2008, and have three children and two grandchildren. Ruth was a secondary school teacher for 19 years and a psychotherapist for 28 years.