Hedy was born in Freiburg, Germany on 8/15/1924, the only child of Ella & Hugo Wachenheimer. She lived in Kippenheim, 30 km north of Freiburg, where her father's side of the family had lived for generations. She left Germany at 14, in1939, on a Kindertransport (children's transport), to London, England - one of almost 10,000 mostly Jewish children. Both her parents, as well as other family members, perished in Auschwitz in 1942.
In July 1945, she returned to Germany to work for the American government, first with the U.S. Civil Censorship Division and then as a research analyst at the Nuremberg trial of the Nazi doctors who performed medical experiments on concentration camp inmates.
In May 1945, she arrived in the United States and quickly became involved in peace and social justice issues. Since 2003, she has visited Israeli-occupied West Bank five times to witness the effects of Israel's occupation.