George Brady receives German Order of Merit
Enlarge image Werner Wnendt, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Canada, hands over the merit to George Brady (© German Consulate Toronto) On February 7, 2013, on the eve of his 85th birthday, George Brady, the brother of Hana from the world-famous book and film Hana's Suitcase (see below) received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, given to him on behalf of the Federal President of Gemany from the hands of German Ambassador, Werner Wnendt, and the Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag, Hans Ulrich Klose.
In her eulogy, German Consul General, Sabine Sparwasser said: " (….) today, I hope, feels like a triumph to you, a vindication of all you have worked for: your struggles to survive the holocaust; your efforts to honour the memories of those who perished; and, perhaps most astonishingly, your determination to put aside hatred and work for greater tolerance and reconciliation among the peoples of the world."
George Brady was joined in the brief ceremony by his wife Teresa, his children, grandchildren and close friends.
About “Hana's Suitcase”:
In the spring of 2000, Fumiko Ishioka, the curator of a small Holocaust education centre for children in Tokyo, received a very special shipment for an exhibit she was planning. She had asked the curators at the Auschwitz museum if she could borrow some artifacts connected to the experience of children at the camp. Among the items she received was an empty suitcase. From the moment she saw it, Fumiko was captivated by the writing on the outside that identified its owner - Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Waisenkind (the German word for orphan). Children visiting the centre were full of questions. Who was Hana Brady? Where did she come from? What was she like? How did Hana become an orphan? What happened to her?
Fueled by the children’s curiosity and her own need to know, Fumiko began a year of detective work, scouring the world for clues to the story of Hana Brady. Writer Karen Levine follows Fumiko in her search through history, from present-day Japan, Europe and North America back to 1938 Czechoslovakia and the young Hana Brady, a fun-loving child with a passion for ice skating. Together with Fumiko, we learn of Hana's loving parents and older brother, George, and discover how the family's happy life in a small town was turned upside down by the invasion of the Nazis.
Based on an award-winning CBC documentary, Hana's Suitcase takes the reader on an incredible journey full of mystery and memories, which come to life through the perspectives of Fumiko, Hana and Hana's brother George , who lives in Canada. Photographs and original wartime documents enhance this extraordinary story that bridges cultures, generations and time.
Rights have been sold for Hana's Suitcase in 40 countries around the world. The book has been adapted as a play by Emil Sher and made into a documentary film, Inside Hana’s Suitcase, which premiered in 2009.
For more information about “Hana's Suitcase” and George Brady please visit