Farewell to a Very Special Lady

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As many of you know, my sister’s mother-in-law, Hanni, recently passed away.

Hanni was a very special lady. A lady at that. No matter where she was going she dressed up, put her make-up and jewelry on, and made sure that her nails were polished. But make no mistake about it, she was one strong lady. That strength was the reason she had such a full life.

She was born in Germany. At 11 years old, the Nazis were increasing their grip on every facet of life and it became clear that things were only going to get worse. Hanni and her parents left Berlin for Shanghai, China to escape Nazi Germany. Quite a Jewish community developed in Shanghai, some ten-thousand German Jews had similar stories.

Hanni met her future husband there. Siegfried, several years older than Hanni, had also escaped to Shanghai. They were married when Hanni was only 16 years old. They lived there for ten years before emmigrating to the United States. With nothing but each other and the strength to start again and build a new life in a new country, they built a business, a family, a home, and a property portfolio.

Hanni (center), at her 80th birthday party in 2008

She said that family is everything and I agree. We were lucky to have her in our family. We will smile when we think of all of the family celebrations and holidays that we shared, they were good times. Thanks for the memories of the celebrations and family gatherings we shared over the past twenty years. I will treasure them.

A song says, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” How true. This strong lady will be greatly missed by our family and so will her famous cheesecake.

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