(1908 - 2013)
Weyl was born November 6, 1908 in Breslau
(Wroclaw). In 1930, she married Heinrich
(later Henry) Weyl, who was also from Breslau.
He owned a men's wear manufacturing company
started by his father. When the Nazis forced
them to close their business on June 26, 1937, Ruth and Heinrich decided to leave
the country and immigrated to Kenya, then
under British rule. They first stopped
in London to visit relatives and then took
a boat from Southampton to Mambasa and
from there to Nairobi.
A Jewish dentist
who had heard of their arrival helped
find Heinrich a job in a men's second-hand
clothing store. After being hospitalized
for a ruptured appendix Heinrich had to find
a new job. With the help of an English couple,
they acquired a large home in Nairobi that
they turned into a boarding house. They ran
a successful business for three years,
but, after start of World
War II, the
British arrested all male German nationals,
including Jews, and placed them in an internment
camp near Nairobi. The internees were
treated relatively well, and their wives
were allowed to visit them once a week. However,
the Weyls had to auction off their boarding
After some months, the British
officials gave permission for the internees
to leave if they agreed to manage a farm.
Heinrich tried his hand at managing a farm,
but was unsuccessful. Instead, he took
a job with a mining company in southern Kenya.
While en route to the mine, the Weyls
stopped at a hotel on Lake Kisumu and decided
to stay there and work. For the next five
years, from February 1, 1941 to January
31, 1946, the Weyls worked at the hotel.
Ruth was employed as a housekeeper,
while Heinrich managed the hotel kitchen.
The hotel had an arrangement with airlines
that stopped there while en route to
South Africa, and Heinrich was soon put
in charge of the hotel's airline catering.
In 1947 he became catering manager for Nairobi
Eastleigh Airport. The following year
Heinrich and Ruth decided to immigrate
to the United States where they had many
relatives. They flew to England and then
sailed to New York on board the Queen Elizabeth
I, arriving in March 1948.
Holocaust Memorial Museum . Photo: Portrait
of Weyl in Kisumu, Kenya.