Hans, Denise

Denise Hans was born June 21, 1938. She is the 4th of 6 children. Her father, Michel, and mother, Perla, came from Poland in the early 1920’s. When the war broke out, žthe round up of Jews first affected her family when her father received a “Billet Vert” asking him to go to the police station. But because of the birth of Denise’s sister Monique, her father was given a pass. When it was time to go back, he stayed hidden, until the Gestapo found him and several other family members, shipping them to Auschwitz. žDenise’s mom went to the OSE to look for a place for all the children to stay. At first, all 8 kids were together on a farm, then they were separated into different families and eventually the 6 girls were sent to live in a convent. žThey lived there until their mother was able to take them back home in 1948. Denise’s story exposes the powerful emotions of an eloquent Child Survivor.  She spoke to Crestwood students Katherine Charness, Lindsey Swartzman, and So Hee Pyo in early 2011, and in 2012 she visited us again, sitting down with Antony Cook and Sarah Mainprize.  In 2017 and 2020 Denise continued to come to Crestwood, speaking with Grade 8 and Grade 10 students about her early life in the war.