HENNY'S STORY

Henny Rosenbaum Markiewicz Simon grew up in Hannover, Germany, an engaged, outgoing athletic and artistic child. As a teenager, on December 15, 1941, Henny and her mother were rounded up and taken to the ghetto in Riga.  Her mother died there, as did the man Henny became engaged to in the ghetto. After the ghetto Henney was sent to work camps.

 

Henny survived the Holocaust, married another survivor, returned to Hannover, and had her first child there.

 

Her father had escaped tp Shanghai, reached America, found Henny through Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and the Red Cross, and brought her to America. She bought a farm in Colchester CT, had another child, and brought her father to the farm in his retirement.

 

She never spoke of the Holocaust, even to her children, until her second husband, a WW II veteran, encouraged her to do so. In her eighties Henny met Ben Cooper, also a veteran, and a liberator of Dachau. They spoke together in schools throughout Connecticut and fell in love.

 

Henny returned to Hannover several times at the invitation of the city, participated in Commemoration programs and spoke with students and adults. On her last visit in  2016, for the 75th Anniversary of the expulsion of the Jews, she was the only survivor to attend. As she left she said:  “I love this city. I could come home again".

 

Henny died in a car crash in Colchester just a year after visiting Hannover.

 

In December of 2021, Hannover  marked the 80th Anniversary of the expulsion, the first without the presence of any survivors.

 

Henny's legacy, her story, and her fight against hatred continues through the teachers with whom she worked and the many students touched by her experiences. This film seeks to extend that legacy. 

" I didn't expect to live. I thought   they were going to kill me. "  
                                    
— Henny Simon