The saga of Hana’s suitcase

From Terezin to Auschwitz to Tokyo, with a Newton twist

In 1998, Edgar Krasa visited the museum at Auschwitz with a group of other “graduates” of the camps, as the Newton resident refers to survivors like himself.

Among them was George Brady of Toronto, whom Krasa had met while they were being transported from Terezin to Auschwitz in 1944.

Brady was particularly interested in looking at the display of suitcases at the museum. Previous visitors had told him that they had spotted the suitcase of his younger sister, Hana. The 13-year-old girl had been killed the day she arrived at the camp.

“All of us were looking for that suitcase,” said Krasa. “We found suitcases of other prisoners we knew, but not of George’s sister.”

Today, that suitcase is known around the world, and the story of Hana Brady, like that of Anne Frank, has helped tens of thousands of schoolchildren learn about the Holocaust. It is the subject of the 2003 book “Hana’s Suitcase,” by Karen Levine, and the 2009 documentary “Inside Hana’s Suitcase,” which will have its first area screening at West Newton Cinema starting Nov. 11. George Brady will appear for question and answer sessions at the weekend showings.

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Also this week:

  • Alan Dershowitz and Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Judaism and the Jewish state.
  • Eichmann in Boston, as the Huntington Theater Company stages “Captors.”
  • American superheroes and their Jewish creators.