Käthe Jonas

born 12 July 1902 in Dörnigheim (near Frankfurt am Main),
died 25 January 1977

22 August 1944 – 28 April 1945 in Ravensbrück


Käthe Jonas was born into a working-class family in Dörnigheim am Main, in the district of Hanau. She was an active member of the German Communist Party. In the municipal elections in March 1933 she stood as a Communist Party candidate for the Hanau local council and the municipal parliament in Dörnigheim.

After the Reichstag fire in February 1933, Käthe was arrested and imprisoned in a women’s prison in Frankfurt am Main-Preungesheim during the first mass arrests. After one month she was released.

In February 1935 she was again arrested. She had been handing out leaflets for the illegal Communist Party in the Hanau area. The Higher Regional Court in Kassel sentenced Käthe to three years in prison for high treason. She was imprisoned until February 1938.

The attempted assassination of Hitler on 20 July 1944 was the impetus for the mass arrests that were intended to eliminate the adversaries of the Nazi regime once and for all. As a functionary and elected representative of the German Communist Party, Käthe was again arrested on 22 August 1944 and taken to the women’s concentration camp in Ravensbrück. On 28 April 1945 she was forced out of the camp and sent on the death march. After 1945, Käthe Jonas, together with other survivors in West Germany, founded the Ravensbrück Camp Association, of which she was the first president.


Rosel Vadehra-Jonas
Käthe Jonas’s daughter