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Letter sent by Marketa Brady from the Ravensbrueck concentration camp.

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Letter sent by Marketa Brady from the Ravensbrueck concentration camp.
Hana Brady was the daughter of Karel and Marketa Brady. She was born May 16, 1931 in Nove Mesto, Czechoslovakia and had one older brother, Georg (now George). The Bradys were one of the only Jewish families in the town and initially were well integrated into the social life of Nove Mesto. However, following the Nazi takeover in 1939 and introduction of anti-Jewish laws and antisemitic propaganda, Hana's friends were soon forbidden to play with her. Hana became quite lonely but her sadness soon turned to worry when her mother was arrested by the Gestapo in March 1941 and sent to the Ravensbrueck concentration camp. Hana was left with her brother, father, and their housekeeper Boshka. Conditions for the Jews of Nove Mesto continued to deteriorate over the course of the next several months. One day in September 1941, a man who was unwilling to conform to the law that forced every Jew to wear a Star of David, pinned an entire cloth to his clothing instead of the cutout badge he was supposed to affix. The Nazi officers in charge of the town responded to the man's disobedience by declaring that Nove Mesto had to be "Judenfrei" - free of Jews. During this turbulent period, officers came to Hana's home and arrested her father, taking him immediately to Iglau Gestapo prison.

Immediately after their father was sent away, Hana and George went to live with their Aunt Hedda and Uncle Ludvik. Ludvik was Christian, and he hoped his faith might spare his niece and nephew the prospect of deportation. On May 14, 1942, however, Hana and George were sent to the Trebic deportation center. After four days in the converted warehouse, the two were deported to Theresienstadt, where they lived in separate bunks for the next two years. In the autumn of 1944, George was sent to Auschwitz; Hana was sent one month later and killed upon arrival. George survived in a satellite labor camp; when he returned to Nove Mesto after the war, he found that although his aunt and uncle were still alive, his parents had perished in Auschwitz in 1942.

The suitcase Hana brought with her to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz was preserved in the Auschwitz museum; from there, it was sent as part of a request to Fumiko Ishioka at the Tokyo Holocaust Center. Ishioka did extensive research on Hana's life, discovered George was alive, and contacted him about Hana's suitcase, which George and his daughter traveled to Japan to see. Hana's story is now a best-selling children's book, "Hana's Suitcase."
May 1942
Ravensbrueck, [Brandenburg] Germany
Photo Source:
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Provenance: Lara Hana Brady
Photo Credit:
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Lara Hana Brady
Record last modified: 2013-07-15 00:00:00