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Ruth Andreas-Friedrich (1901–1977)

Author of Berlin Underground, 1938-1945

Includes the names: Ruth Andreas-Friedrich

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Ruth Andreas-Friedrich, née Behrens, was born in Berlin, the daughter of German union leader and social democrat Max Behrens and his wife Margarete. In 1922, she completed her education as a social work administrator, and two years later married Otto Friedrich, with whom she had a daughter; they divorced in 1930. She wrote reviews and articles for newspapers and women's magazines. In the 1930s, she met and began living with conductor Leo Borchard. After Kristallnacht in November 1938, the couple hid Jews in their apartment and helped them obtain false identity papers. They began meeting regularly with a group of like-minded friends to form an informal resistance group called "Onkel Emil" that helped to hide, feed, and clothe more Jews and others on the run from the Nazis, while surviving Allied bombing raids and avoiding the Gestapo. They listened in secret to forbidden broadcasts on British radio, and tried to counter Nazi propaganda through clandestine leaflets and word of mouth. She kept a diary beginning before World War II that was later published in two volumes, Berlin Underground, 1938-1945 and Battleground Berlin: Diaries 1945-1948. In August 1945, three months after Germany's surrender in World War II, Andreas-Friedrich was with Borchard after a concert he conducted when he was mistakenly shot and killed by an American soldier. After the war, she worked as the editor of two women's magazines and wrote some self-help books. During the blockade of Berlin in 1948, she moved to Munich, where she married Walter Seitz, a fellow member of her resistance group. She committed suicide in 1977. She was honored as a "Righteous among the Nations" by the Yad Vashem Memorial in 2002.
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