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Ruth Danson

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
23 March 1939
Interview number:


Dr Bea Lewkowicz

Date of Interview:

Interview Summary:

Ruth Danson nee Boronow was born in 1924 in Breslau. She had a four -year older brother called Klaus and her father was a dentist and her mother a pianist and music teacher. Her parents got divorced when she was eight and she lived with her mother while her brother lived with her father. They remained a close family. The family was very assimilated and Ruth recalls a happy childhood. She was interested in Sport and used to go to the Südpark in Breslau. Ruth recalled when things changed and that she once was very close to a rally for Hitler visiting Breslau. She saluted the Hitlergruß and hurried home. She also recalls that on Kristallnacht she saw the synagogue burn and tried to warn her friends, as her father had been arrested and sent to Buchenwald. Both her parents had siblings in the US and papers arrived which enabled the family to travel to Southampton.

In March 1939 Ruth and her mother first went to Berlin and then took the American ship SS Manhattan to Southampton via Le Havre. Her brother had managed to relocate to Juan le Pins in the South of France to train in the hotel business. When they arrived in Southampton, the father waited for them, as he had come to the UK by plane. Very soon after their arrival, Ruth was sent to Bunce Court in Kent. Her school was later evacuated to Wem (Shropshire) to Grove School. Both her parents were interned on the Isle of Man.

After his release, her father joined the Pioneer Corps and managed to get his son released from a Spanish internment camp and come to the UK in 1942. After her release, Ruth’s mother also came to Wem and started to take care of a five-year-old girl and started to teach music in the school. 

When Ruth finished her As, the Blitz was ongoing, Ruth moved back to Wem and worked from there. She worked as a dressmaker near Baker Street. Her brother surprised her in 1942 and brought her nylon stockings. After some time, Ruth moved to Lyndhurst Road. She met Charles Danson (Heinz Erich Danielson from Berlin) at a party and they got married in 1949. They moved in with Charles’ mother who had a house in Golders Green. They adopted two girls in 1955 and 1960.

Additional Comments: Ruth switches to German frequently.

Key words:  Boronow. Breslau. SS Manhattan. Bunce Court. Wem, Grove School. Alice Herz-Sommer. Music. Charles Danson (Heinz Erich Danielson).


Full Interview


Yes. I had to open [the door to her father's dental surgery in Breslau]- I was given the job of opening the doors later on when there was- when the Germans didn’t allow Jewish... assistants. Actually he called me to help him at the- at the... place you know when, when, when he was working on a patient. And let them in and then take them- take over certain duties like cleaning the instruments and so on. And that was- I felt very grown-up by then.

Jews were not allowed to have... fork and knife and anything made of silver that fitted into a basket - huge basket that was. And we both carried that to the police station. It was very bad. We felt dreadful. But no we didn't have any nasty remarks on the way. So we were without the silver. So what? And one can do with- you know, one can eat... as long as one gets one's life.

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