Hilfe für jüdische Verfolgte im Nationalsozialismus. Biographische und sozialstrukturelle Zugänge am Beispiel der Berliner Helferin Ruth Andreas-Friedrich

The journalist Ruth Andreas-Friedrich is one of the few helpers of persecuted Jews in Nazi Germany who kept an extensive record of her actions. Her diary covers her experience of the persecution of many of her Jewish friends and acquaintances, her efforts to support them and the transformation of a circle of like-minded friends into a highly sophisticated and well-connected support network. We combine Andreas-Friedrichs description of herself and her group with the available historical sources. We argue that her non-conformist lifestyle, close ties with victims of persecution and their requests for help, admiration for charismatic helpers together with a like-minded social environment lead her to begin to help others. When most of their Jewish friends and acquaintances had either emigrated or were deported, the group’s activities almost came to a halt. New contacts were brokered by a refugee and one of the group’s members and lead to a second phase of activities in late 1944 and 1945.