Holocaust survivor Jenni Thompson dies

A German survivor of Polish work camps has died.

Jenni Thompson of San Francisco died Thursday, Feb. 9. She was 82.

She was born Jenni Loewenstein in Fronhausen, Germany, on June 20, 1923. Her father owned a kosher meat market, but when he died in 1937, her mother was left a widow with four children. Though an uncle in San Francisco offered to help her, she couldn’t see leaving as a young widow.

In 1941, the family was sent to the ghetto in Riga, Latvia. Soon, Jenni and her sister, Trude, were separated from their two brothers and mother. Later, they were separated from each other. But after seven or eight months, the sisters found each other in another work camp. The two spent time in several work camps in Poland.

The sisters persevered and, after they were liberated, made it back to their hometown. They waited for their mother and brothers to come back, but they never did. In 1946, with the help of their family in San Francisco, the sisters immigrated here.

In 1949, Jenni married Walter Thompson. They met at a dance at the Jewish center. His name had originally been Godheiner, and he changed it to sound less Jewish.

Jenni Thompson was a housewife and mother, and very active at Congregations Chevre Thilim and Beth Sholom. Whenever AMIT Women had a fund-raising lunch, Thompson signed up to cook; she was known for both her cooking and craftmaking. She also volunteered at her neighborhood public school.

In addition to her sister, Trude Herman of San Francisco, Thompson is survived by her son Warren of San Francisco, son Ken of San Carlos, two grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

Contributions may be made to the Jewish Home, 302 Silver Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."