Hana Wieder was born on February 2, 1939 in Eupen, Belgium. Her parents, Konrad and Hudes Bodzanowski named her Sheindl. Konrad Bodzanowski was born in Breslau in 1907. He was one of six children of Benjamin and Regina Löwenberg Bodzanowski who lived in Breslau but conducted their flourmill business in Kalisz, Poland. Four of his siblings left Germany and settled in Palestine. Sometime in 1930, Konrad received German citizenship, married Hudes Hadasa Birnbaum, and moved to Berlin, where the newly married couple opened their own clothing store. His father died the same year and his mother, Regina, stayed in Breslau with her daughter Stefanie Leschnizer and her family. Hudes, who was born in 1904 in Łańcut, Poland, was the daughter of Itta and Chaim Birnbaum. The family was very orthodox; in 1906 they settled in Berlin, but remained Polish citizens. In October 1938 the Germans expelled Chaim Birnbaum to Poland. By 1938, Konrad and Hudes Bodzanowski had two children: Suzy, born in 1933 and Benjamin, born in 1937. In 1934 Nazi authorities nullified Konrad’s German citizenship. Soon after “Kristalnacht” they sent their oldest daughter Suzy to Belgium. She entered Belgium by train, alone and illegally. A relative in Brussels awaited her. Hudes, who was nine months pregnant, attempted to enter Belgium in January 1939 together with her mother, Itta Birnbaum. Itta, who carried a Polish passport, was arrested on the border, and in the commotion Hudes was let in. A few days later, on February 2, 1939, Hudes gave birth to Sheindl (later Hana Wieder). Konrad and Benjamin succeeded in leaving Germany and joined the family in March 1939. Itta Birnbaum decided to join her husband in Poland. The elderly couple continued their flight eastward to the Soviet occupied Polish territory and were subsequently deported to a Soviet labor camp near Konosha in the Archangelsk region, where they both perished.
Konrad and Hudes Bodzanowski settled in Brussels with their three small children, sold their possessions, worked for the Jewish Community and basically lived like the other 20,000 German Jewish refugees in town. On May 10, 1940 the Germans occupied Belgium and two years later they issued an order for every Jew to wear a yellow Star of David. In 1941 Hudes Bodzanowski gave birth to Samuel. Sometime in the summer of 1942 the Bodzanowski family moved to an attic on Rue Volgaert. Until July 1942 Konrad maintained correspondence with his mother, Regina Bodzanowski, who was still in Breslau. At the end of July 1942 she was deported to Theresienstadt and two months later, at the age of seventy, Regina Bodzanowski was deported to an unknown location in Poland, where she was killed. In September 1942 Samuel got sick and a Belgian woman physician, married to a Jewish man, placed him in a hospital. After a few weeks the doctor, who had to flee Belgium herself, removed the baby from the hospital and placed him in a hiding place, but did not notify the parents. The Gestapo searches for Jews intensified in January 1943, and the three Bodzanowski children were hidden with a family of a Belgian farmer. Their family name was changed to Bosquet and Sheindl’s name was changed to Jeanette. In April 1943, the Gestapo arrested the children following a denouncement and imprisoned them in the Malines transit camp. Hudes wanted to join her children in the camp, but the representatives of the Jewish Committee strongly advised her against it. They claimed that the children had a chance of avoiding deportation because they were registered as orphans. In the years 1942-1944, 25,257 Jews were deported from the Malines camp to the Auschwitz death camp. 1,200 of those deported Jews survived the war.
Hudes, who was pregnant again, entered “Maison Maternal”, home for unwed mothers, where on July 18, 1943 she gave birth to a baby boy, Chaim. The next day, on July 19, 1943, Hudes and Konrad Bodzanowski found out that a group of children and their three children among them, were released from the Malines transit camp due to the intervention of Elizabeth, queen mother of Belgium. Suzy, Benjamin and Jeanette were placed in different orphanages, which were under strict German control. Hudes and Konrad were unable to keep the newborn baby Chaim, due to frequent Gestapo searches. They placed him in an orphanage for newborn babies and visited as frequently as they could. In January 1944 they were told that Chaim died, but on that same day they spotted their missing son, Samuel, among a group of children.
In the face of growing danger from the Gestapo, the Resistance removed the children from the orphanages and placed them with Belgian Christian families in Linkebeek, where they stayed until the liberation. Hudes and Konrad Bodzanowski reunited with their children and stayed in Belgium until 1949 when the Bodzanowski family immigrated to Israel. Hana (Sheindl / Jeanette) and her husband Freddy Wieder live in Jerusalem. They have three children: Eran, Tali and Udi and two grandchildren.