Holocaust survivor Felicia Galas Munn Brenner passed away on May 23rd, 2008. . Mrs. Brenner survived the ravages of the Lodz (Poland) ghetto, the death camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and the Salzwadel work camp. Her entire family—her parents and six brothers and sisters—were murdered in death camps in Germany, Poland, and Russia .
Liberated in 1945, Felicia met her first husband, Tibor Munk, at an American hospital in Frankfurt where they were both recovering from typhoid. Convinced that Tibor was the last Jewish boy left, she married him and returned to Budapest, Hungary, in a search for his family. Hearing rumors, later substantiated, that Jews returning to Poland after the war were still being murdered, Felicia and Tibor instead made their way to Hungary. After knocking on doors in the ruins of his neighborhood, they found his mother Roza, who also survived Auschwitz , and the three of them immigrated to the United States in July, 1946.

Felicia and her husband settled in the Chicago area, enrolled in English classes, and began a drapery business. They moved to Skokie in 1955 and raised two daughters, Deborah and Judith. Later divorced, Felicia raised her daughters alone by developing her reputation on the North Shore for her beautiful handmade draperies and bedspreads.

Felicia remarried in 1985. She and her husband Gershon Brenner became founding members of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. A gifted speaker, Mrs. Brenner was invited numerous times to speak to children and university students about her war experience. She did so with unfailing candor, grace, and eloquence. In 2005, Felicia was named Mayor Daley’s Speaker of the Year at Chicago’s annual Holocaust Memorial event.

Felicia found great comfort and joy in her two children and the accomplishments of her three grandchildren, Rebecca and Jori Shiffman and Jennifer Long.

Everyone who knew Felicia was touched by her struggles to overcome the incredible challenges of her life and admired her indomitable will to survive.