In memory of Dr. Katia Guth-Dreyfus
We Mourn the Loss of our Founding Director
The staff of the Jewish Museum of Switzerland mourn the loss of its founding director, Dr. Katia Guth-Dreyfus. For half a century, she enriched Basel with a unique cultural institution: the Jewish Museum of Switzerland.
Katia Dreyfus was born in Basel in 1926 as the daughter of Vera and Paul Dreyfus-de Gunzburg. She attended Leonards Girls’ Grammar School from 1937 and studied art history and archaeology at the University of Basel from 1945.
Her studies took her to Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She married Hans Guth (1913–2010) in February 1951 and completed her doctorate four months later. Katia Guth-Dreyfus and Hans Guth had three children.
While her children were still young, Katia Guth-Dreyfus guided groups of visitors through the Art Museum of Basel. She served the Art Museum for 25 years as president of the «Friends of the Art Museum Basel» association. In 1966, she was instrumental in founding the Jewish Museum of Switzerland. She directed the Jewish Museum for 44 years.
In the 1980s, Katia Guth-Dreyfus worked on the committee for the renovation of the Basel Synagogue and was the first woman to give an official speech there after the renovation work was completed. She published numerous articles and supported the establishment of the Jewish Studies program at the University of Basel.
Dr. Katia Guth-Dreyfus will remain unforgotten in the Jewish Museum of Switzerland. May her memory be a blessing.
On behalf of the team of the Jewish Museum:
Elena Haschemi Schirazi
and Anna Rabin.
verfasst am 26.09.2021
Foto © zvg, Nadia Guth Biasini