Born: May 30, 1922
Hana was born to a Jewish family in Prague, the capital of Czechoslovakia. Her father, a metalsmith, made pipes, spouts and gutters for construction companies. Because her mother was frail, Hana was raised by her father and grandmother. She attended a Jewish school through grade five, and later went to business school.
1933-39: In 1933 Hana read about the harrowing treatment of Jews during the Spanish Inquisition and told her grandmother, "Aren't we fortunate that we live in the 20th century in Czechoslovakia, that such a thing cannot happen to us." Six years later on March 15, 1939, the Germans occupied Prague. It was a cold, snowy day. About a mile from Hana's home the Germans entered the city on tanks and trucks, with their guns pointed toward the rooftops.
1940-44: Hana was in her apartment reading The Grapes of Wrath when she received orders to report for a transport. She was sent to the Theresienstadt ghetto in July 1942.
Hana was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. After some months as a forced laborer in a subcamp of Gross-Rosen, she was freed in May 1945.