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The Song Is Over, The Song Is Over, 0817355960, 0-8173-5596-0, 978-0-8173-5596-8, 9780817355968, , , The Song Is Over, 0817383565, 0-8173-8356-5, 978-0-8173-8356-5, 9780817383565,

The Song Is Over
A Jewish Girl in Dresden
by Henny Brenner

Quality Paper
2010. 98 pp.
Price:  $14.95 t

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.

Henny Brenner was born in 1924 in Dresden and spent the entire war there, obliged to do forced labor with the yellow star. In 1952 she and her family escaped to West Berlin. Since 1953 she has lived in Bavaria.
Barbara Fischer is Professor of German literature at The University of Alabama. She is the author of Nathans Ende?: Von Lessing bis Tabori: zur deutsch-jüdischen Rezeption von “Nathan der Weise” and, with Thomas C. Fox, is the editor of A Companion to the Works of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.

“A rich and significant account . . . The fleshing out of the details of her family’s normal bourgeois life, including wash day and monthly theater visits is exemplary. Likewise, Brenner’s account of school life is illuminating from a number of perspectives, not the least of which is the initial lesson in racial ‘biology’ from a Nazi teacher, in which she was identified as a typical ‘Aryan German girl.’”
—Michael Berkowitz, author of The Crime of My Very Existence:  Nazism and the Myth of Jewish Criminality

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