Henny's parents met soon after her father emigrated from Russia. Henny was the first of the Jewish couple's three daughters. Frankfurt was an important center of commerce, banking, industry and the arts.
1933-39: After the Nazis came to power, they began to persecute a large number of "undesirable" groups, including Jews, Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, the handicapped, and left-wing politicians. After 1938, as one way of identifying Jews, a Nazi ordinance decreed that "Sara" was to be added in official papers to the first name of all Jewish women. Twenty-four-year-old Henny was working as a shop assistant, and was living with her family in Frankfurt.
1940-44: In early 1940 Henny was arrested in Frankfurt and deported to the Ravensbrueck concentration camp for women. On the back of her prisoner photo was written: "Jenny (sic) Sara Schermann, born February 19, 1912, Frankfurt am Main. Unmarried shopgirl in Frankfurt am Main. Licentious lesbian, only visited such [lesbian] bars. Avoided the name 'Sara.' Stateless Jew."
Henny was among a number of Ravensbrueck prisoners selected for extermination. In 1942 Henny was gassed at the Bernburg killing facility.
Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals (USHMM Online Exhibition) The Persecution of Homosexuals under the Nazi Regime (CAHS Symposium) Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals (USHMM Special Focus) Homosexuals: Victims of the Nazi Era (USHMM brochure series) USHMM Library Bibliography
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