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The story of Hana’s Suitcase

The Story

It's a remarkable story of survival, perseverance and hope, and it all began with a plain brown suitcase. As told in this award-winning documentary, the name on the suitcase belonged to Hana Brady, a Jewish girl from Czechoslovakia who died at Auschwitz in 1944. She was just 13. Her story would have been forgotten if it weren't for Fumiko Ishioka, the director of the children's Holocaust Education Centre in Tokyo. Having received a battered suitcase for an exhibit at her centre, Ishioka became determined to find out about the girl whose name was painted on it. Ishioka's mission brought her to Toronto, where she discovered Hana's older brother, the only member of her immediate family to survive. Fifty-seven years after Hana Brady's death, George Brady recounts his sister's life. 

Medium: Radio
Program: The Sunday Edition
Broadcast Date: Jan. 21, 2001
Guests: George Brady, Fumiko Ishioka
Producer: Karen Levine
Duration: 28:28

Did You know?

• Karen Levine, the producer of the award-winning radio documentary Hana's Suitcase, wrote a children's book with the same title. Published in 2002 by Second Story Press, the best-selling book has been translated into more than 20 languages.
• The name "Hanna Brady," her date of birth, May 16, 1931, and the word waisenkind -- the German word for orphan -- are written in white across the suitcase. Although Hana Brady spelled her name with one 'n,' the suitcase bears the German spelling of the name with two 'n's.
• The CBC's Joe Schlesinger's television documentary, Hana's Suitcase: An Odyssey of Hope, won the 2004 Gemini Award for best news magazine segment.
• In April 2004, it was discovered that the suitcase thought to be Hana Brady's was a replica. Her niece, Lara Hana Brady, was looking at an old photograph of the original suitcase when she noticed a difference in the handle. The Auschwitz Museum then admitted that Hana Brady's actual suitcase had been destroyed in England 20 years earlier. The museum had reproduced it. Watch a clip about the discovery.


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