In Memoriam: Hilde Bruell

Hilde Bruell, an Austrian Jew who witnessed and escaped the horrors of Nazi Germany, danced as a prima ballerina across European opera houses, and built her own home and businesses in Oakland, California, died Nov. 21, 2022 at the age of 106. She passed peacefully in the excellent care of her assisted living facility and hospice team in Oakland, CA.

This page is intended to be a virtual memorial of Hilde’s life. It will be updated regularly with links to articles about her, including her obituary, and photos of her life in a reverse chronological collection. (Image quality on many of these photos is reduced so the page can load properly.)

If you want a higher resolution version of a photo on this page, or would like to submit a photo or story about Hilde for this page, please contact


December: Hilde’s burial

Me, Stephany, Beau and Mark came to Washington Memorial Park for a small ceremony laying Hilde to rest. She was buried, per her wishes, with her brother Bertold and mother Lili.

October / November: Hilde’s end of life

July: Hilde’s 106th Birthday Party

This was Hilde’s third birthday at Pacifica and my fifth time visiting her on her birthday. It was also her last birthday party.


July: Hilde’s 105th Birthday Party

This was Hilde’s first big party at Pacifica, and the first time she’d seen my parents in many years.


July: Hilde’s 104th Birthday

Due to COVID-19, this was a much smaller event, held entirely outdoors.


July: Hilde’s 103rd Birthday

This was Hilde’s last birthday at her apartment overlooking Lake Merritt. For various reasons, some stemming from the pandemic, it was time for her to leave by the summer of 2020.


Early 1920s

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