Dachau contemporary witness talk with Henny Brenner

Henny Brenner 1941 in Dresden
Henny Brenner 1941 in Dresden

Born on November 25, 1924, Henny Brenner’s mother is Jewish, her father a Protestant. Henny enjoys a sheltered childhood while growing up in Dresden. With the implementation of the Nazi race laws the fortunes of the family – now stigmatized as of “mixed race” and “privileged” – change suddenly and dramatically: Henny Brenner is forced repeatedly to switch schools, her father has to give up his work, and mother and daughter have to wear the “Jewish badge”.

In 1945 only 170 out of previously some 6,000 Jews continue to live in Dresden. Henny Brenner is amongst those who remain. She performs forced labor for Zeiss-Ikon. As the family receives notice on February 13, 1945, that they are to report to a collection point in Dresden three days later, the 20-year-old knows that deportation is in store. But the Allied air bombardment of Dresden saves her life. The family succeeds in hiding amongst the ruins of the devastated city until liberation through the arrival of the Red Army.

Today Henny Brenner lives in the Upper Palatinate. She has written a memoir of her experiences, Das Lied ist aus (The Song is Over).

The contemporary witness talk with Henny Brenner takes place on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, at 7 pm in the Visitor Center of the Dachau Memorial Site.