by Henny Brenner
translated by Barbara Fischer
introduction by Barbara Fischer
University of Alabama Press, 2010
eISBN: 978-0-8173-8356-5 | Paper: 978-0-8173-5596-8
Library of Congress Classification DS135.G5B73313 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 940.5318092



A moving story of German Jews saved by the firebombing of Dresden.

February, 1945. After heavy bombing by Allied air forces, Dresden was on fire and in ruins. Ironically, for the few Dresden Jews who had not yet been deported and murdered by the Nazis, the destruction meant rescue. With the Gestapo order for the family to report for deportation still in hand, Henny Wolf Brenner and her parents ran for their lives. They went into hiding and waited for the end of the war. Despite the family’s fears, the Gestapo did not succeed in tracking down the city’s last few Jews, and the family survived.

At the end of the war the Red Army liberated Dresden. But instead of the desired release from terror into a resumption of a peaceful, productive life, different forms of repression awaited Brenner and her parents. In the new communist-run East Germany, she was refused advanced schooling because she was not a Party member. Under the communist regime, it was clear the Jewish population was not welcome, and consequently normal life was impossible. With heavy hearts, the family decided to abandon their beloved home and risk the dangers of flight from East Berlin to West Berlin. With the help of good friends, they were successful in their venture.

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