University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Murray Brandys: My Name Was No. 133909

My Name was No. 133909 ...and I Sang is Murray Brandys' Autobiography self-published in 2002. The book is available in its entirety on this page.  

Murray Brandys was born on June 12, 1925 Sosnowiec, Poland and passed away on September 22, 2011.

Brandys worked closely with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, speaking to schools and organizations throughout the Twin Cities. He also particpated in the Voice to Vision art project conducted by David Feinberg. The project captures the extraordinary experiences of genocide survivors from different parts of the world. The stories of the survivors are first shared through dialogue, and then transformed into works of visual art that display painting, drawing, collage, and mixed media.

Voice to Vision I: Works featuring Murray Brandys

Obituary: Murray Brandys, whose singing saved his life. Minneapolis Star Tribune 10-06-2011




Autobiography: My Name Was No. 133909...and I Sang

Murray Brandysmy name was no 133909 and i sang cover



Since the day I was liberated I told myself that if I ever married and had children, I would never tell my family the stories of my life in Nazi concentration camps. At the time, I believed that I should not burden my wife or my children with the horrors I had lived and witnessed. I felt sure that it might darken your lives, that perhaps sad happenings would always remind you of the stories you had been told. Besides, I believed that marriage and growing up can themselves be challenging, so why add another burden by telling you my history? I have kept that promise to myself these fifty-plus years, but it has not always been easy not to tell you more, not to reveal more of my past.

In recent years, however, I began wanting you to truly understand the Holocaust, to know my stories, to share more of my life with you. Now, Howard and Cheryl, as you have children of your own, I especially want u you to understand my life and to be able to pass on to your children the lessons of the Holocaust - how Germany, a civilized democracy, was able to turn into an evil dictatorship, The Third Reich. I want you to understand what can happen when good people do nothing, when they don't care about or allow freedom of expression, when they look away when neighbors are abused, when they place economic well-being ahead of basic human values.

Sometime soon all Holocaust survivors, including myself, will be gone. I don't want what we suffered and learned and can teach to be forgotten.

I hope you will read this memoir and understand why I kept my life story silent for so long. Please teach your children and your children's children about the Holocaust and the destruction of six million of our brethren, plus millions more. It's been said before, but these facts should never be forgotten.

Love, Dad

Table of Contents

MY NAME WAS NO. 133909 ©2002 Murray Brandys. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For further information, please contact the author.

Cover design by Laurie Ingram Duren™

Many thanks to Karin B. Miller, a writer and editor, for her assistance with my memoirs. M.B.

Site constructed with permission of the author