Hanni Meyer was born to Adolf and Dora Lindenberger on February 14, 1921, in Berlin. Although her grandparents, Isaak and Esther Lindenberger, were affluent, she and her older brother Manfred (1914-2008) grew up in quite modest circumstances since her father earned relatively little money in his role as manager of Isaak’s food stall in the central Berlin marketplace. Financial constraints forced her family to give up its apartment and to move to the house of her grandfather at Georgenkirchstraße 31.
As she grew up she became involved in Jewish and political activities, joining the Ring-Bund jüdischer Jugend and, at some point during the late 1930s, becoming a member of the Herbert-Baum Gruppe, a collection of left-oriented young people who regularly socialized and discussed current affairs, including the dangers facing Jews in Nazi Germany. Early during the war the group began surreptitiously circulating pamphlets urging Germans to resist the government.
After finishing Mittelschule, Hanni began training in millinery (Putzmacherei) and as a kindergarten teacher, but her training in these activities was never completed because of anti-Jewish policies. She was put into forced labor at the Paulus lamp-shade factory (Lampenschirmfabrik) on Ritterstraße near Prinzenstraße. On 27 January 1942 she married Gerd Meyer, a fellow member of the Baum Gruppe who performed forced labor at a Siemens factory in Berlin. Throughout this period she remained at Isaak Lindenberger’s house. Her grandfather had died in October 1941 and her father in December of that year. At that point the only other family members in the house were her mother and her father’s older brother Nathan, who was deported to Theresienstadt the following October. So Gerhard, too, moved into the Lindenberger family house.
On May 18, 1942, the Baum Gruppe sabotaged the Nazi anti-Soviet exhibit “Das Arbeiter-Paradies” in the Lustgarten. Their purpose, like that of the pamphlets they had issued, was to undermine popular support for the war; at that point the German advance in Russia seemed stalled. Although the group as a whole had planned this action, only five members, including Hanni’s husband Gerd, actually participated in the action itself, which consisted mainly of detonating a smoke bomb in one of the exhibit’s rooms. The damage caused was very slight. Members of the group soon after went into hiding. Hanni and Gerd, using false papers, left the family house and rented a summer cottage in Petershagen, but after Gerd’s arrest on May 22, Hanni informed Gerd’s brother that she would go underground, but she was herself arrested on June 3. It has been assumed that an informer from a non-Jewish resistance group betrayed members of the Baum Gruppe in order to save his own family.
Gerd was tried and sentenced to death on July 16 and executed at Plötzensee on August 18. Hanni, with some other members of the Baum-Gruppe, was tried and sentenced to death on December 10 with her mother Dora present at the trial. She was executed by guillotine at Plötzensee on March 3, 1943. Her mother was deported to Auschwitz the following June 26 and was murdered there.