High Point holocaust survivor Hank Brodt, known for sharing his story has died

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Hank Brodt, who is known for surviving five Nazi prison camps and a forced labor camp, died at 94 on Friday.

He moved to High Point in 2005. He worked as a carpenter and also served in the US Army.

His daughter Deb Donnelly shared a message about her father’s impact on her life and his community:

“On behalf of the family we are heartbroken of our dad’s death. My dad will be missed by us forever. My sister, Evy and I are grateful for our father for many things, he and my mother stood for education, as they were denied that. We both graduated college without debt thanks to our dad. We are proud of what he did upon his move to High Point. He was a witness to the atrocities that occurred by the Nazi’s towards the Jewish people and anyone classified ‘non aryan.’ My dad’s message was simple ‘Never forget and Never again. My dad spoke of ‘tolerance’ and accepting people for who they are.”

  • Hank Brodt in 1948 (credit: Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs. A Candle and a Promise/Amsterdam Publishers, 2016)
  • Rabbi Fred Gutman and Hank during the March of the Living n 2014 sharing a quiet moment at the Warsaw cemetery (credit: Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs. A Candle and a Promise/Amsterdam Publishers, 2016)
  • Hank and Wayne during the March of the Living in Masada in 2013 (credit: Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs. A Candle and a Promise/Amsterdam Publishers, 2016)
  • 2017, Hank talking to soldiers, Israel Defense Forces, at Latrun Tank Museum, site of ferocious battle during Israeli War of Independence, 1948 (Photo credit: Ivan Saul Cutler)
  • 2017, honored by Mid-Atlantic delegation inside synagogue, Tykocin, Poland, construction in 1642 (Photo credit: Ivan Saul Cutler)
  • 2019, Hank participating in Community Passover Seder at Temple Emanuel (Photo credit: Ivan Saul Cutler)
  • 2017, Hank Brodt dancing with Chen Greenberg of Roanoke aboard party boat on the Sea of Galilee, Israel (Photo credit: Ivan Saul Cutler)
  • 2018, Hank in Poland, singing at the Yom Hashoah (Holocuast Remembrance Day) program, Krakow Philharmonic concert hall (Photo credit: Ivan Saul Cutler)

Donnelly says she is sad that the family is unable to have a proper burial for her father in New Jersey due to their county being the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

Rabbi Fred Gutman of Temple Emanuel reflected on his memories of Brodt.

“He devoted his life to trying to create a greater sense of not only the history of what he had gone through but understanding and tolerance,” Rabbi Gutman said.

The temple is organizing an online memorial service to be held June 7.

Brodt’s memoirs were chronicled in the book “Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs: A Candle and a Promise.” It can be purchased on Amazon.

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