Hanne D’Ortiz, nee Hanne Ute Zegrid Kurtz, 85, of South Windsor who was a child survivor of the Holocaust, died at her home in South Windsor on January 27th 2019.
She was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on February 8, 1933. Her father was an actor and her Jewish mother was a singer for the National Conservatory. As a result of the Nazi takeover of Czechoslovakia, her parents went in opposite directions. Her father joined the German Army and perished in the war. Her mother was taken prisoner to the Terezin Concentration Camp. Hanne was rescued by her aunt and uncle (Trude and Renee Moshna) who took her to a small town in Austria, where she lived as a hidden child, therefore, she survived Nazi efforts at Jewish annihilation in 1940’s Europe.
After the war (with assistance of her cousin Dr Richard Karpe and his wife Marietta) Hanne emigrated to the U.S., with her aunt and uncle. Hanne attended Hartford Public High School, UConn, and Columbia University. She worked for the State of Connecticut until she was stricken with MS.
Hanne’s life is a tribute to the human spirit. She was born into prewar Europe, experienced loss of both parents, lived as a hidden child in Europe during WWII, and survived the Holocaust which took the lives of most of her maternal family. She emigrated to the U.S. as a teenager, completed her education and was married to Gilbert D’Ortiz for 49 years.
Her family is indebted to her cousin Dvora Caspi (Doris Karpe) who oversaw her last years, and caregivers Shirley Fairley and her daughters Aquasia and Patrice McInnis, who provided loving care to Hanne. She is survived by her cousins: Dvora Caspi (Abba) (formerly Doris Karpe), Jane Dixon(John); Steven Dixon (Phalla) of Connecticut; Barbara Johnson (Cliff), Hilary Johnson of Florida; Sara Caspi (Michael Yanuck), Yael Sagi (Tomer), Bonnie Dixon, Michal Tal(Tomer) of California; Na’ama Welland (Peter) of Massachusetts; and nine other child and teen cousins.
Hanne will be buried with her husband Gil in the Wapping Cemetery in South Windsor with memorial service to be held later to celebrate her indomitable spirit.